Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yultide Blessings-- Traditions

 To visit everyone in this blog party click the picture:

This is the first year I am actually "celebrating" Yule.

I was baptized Presbyterian, made my confirmation Methodist, married Lutheran, and then basically lived and worshiped as a Methodist for years. I started having issues with my faith back when my children were still young, and I witnessed their persecution by other children in Sunday school and the teachers did nothing about it, and all the hypocrites I knew belonged to my church, BUT the big reason was 2 HUGE prayers, that ANY Christian would think that "God" would answer in a positive way went by year after year without being answered.  At the point that I was seriously at a crossroads, those 2 prayers had been prayed one for about 20 years and one for about 18 years.

Becoming disabled, after only being out of College 5 years, and having my great niece be born with not only a fatal disease but one that cause the child DAILY EXCRUCIATING pain (read about EB and Daisy on my sidebar)  sometimes it is so bad she stops breathing and turns blue, she needs to be bagged, sometimes even rescue breathing and cpr. She has MRSA, Psuedomonis, and other infections (which is what usually kills these kids)  The is other information surrounding her birth etc, that I won't go into here.
However, I am done with Christianity. I believe in Jesus, I believe he was an enlightened man, like Buddha, and Mohammed and Gandhi etc.

Now that you have a bit of back ground. I'll share some of my favorite "Christmas traditions" and my first YULE alter.

First I have to say, it wouldn't be Christmas with out sending out cards. I do every year, though, the lists shrinks every year, sadly. (WE will revisit cards, later on)

Every Christmas eve, we would go to the "family Candlelight service" at our church after dinner

When we came home, hubs would take care of the wood stove, and bring more firewood in. I would make popcorn and hot cocoa
and I had a pop-up book that came with a cassette reading of 
"The Night before Christmas" so we would listen to the reading, while sipping the cocoa, and eating the PC, I would turn the pages and the kids would do the pop ups or pull tabs etc.

 then they all (including hubs) went to bed, and Mom put everything together  and wrapped whatever wasn't already wrapped, and pulled out everything that was hidden and got it under the tree.

of course, as the kids grew the traditions slowly changed and disappeared. One last tradition, was the week that they were home from school (Christmas to new years) We would all hop in the car, with a thermos of cocoa, again. LOL and drive around looking at all the decorated houses.

I hope you liked my little trip down memory lane. NONE of these photos are mine though, just so you know.

Now here's my YULE Alter, my log is not finished yet, and I haven't put my green tapers out yet, and MY nightly health and healing candle is on the alter. but you get the idea.

 the overall Alter
 close up of my pentacle wreath(where I added evergreen and holly) and "Isis" print
 close up of the "Winter Solstice Queen"
 My "God" candle and the close up of "The Holly King"
 My "Goddess" candle and close up of "The Oak King" print.
 looking down onto the alter, my cinnamon healing candle is out front, with a crystal, and there is a white candle with a crystal. Evergreen boughs, holly branches & pine cones.

* the art prints from top to bottom- of "Isis" (as visualized by the artist) "Winter Solstice Queen", "The Holly King" and "The Oak King" are all by the artist Emily Balivet.  here is her Etsy shop.

The Alter should be complete and lit for the YULE MAGIC blog party on the 21rst.

now, I said I would revisit Christmas cards. I will be giving away 10 Christmas cards(with envelopes), hand made by me, that you can use for next year.
 * to win:
*you MUST be a follower
*you MUST comment on this post, a real comment, NOT just please count me in.
****you MUST, MUST, MUST include your email IN your comment.  (I recommend in this format: sallyjo AT charter DOT net)

Cut-off date for this giveaway is 12/25 midnight--so 12/26would be too late)

BIG THANKS to Astraea for hosting this blog party!


petoskystone said...

Lovely altar! As i have gotten older, my Yule traditions have altered as well. My daughter now takes care of the tree & the stockings (she of the 3 grandchildren). I buy books every Yuletide, bake cookies (really, Ma? do we need another 4 dozen cookies?! yes..yes we do), set out my evergreen tree 'figurines'. One thing i have continued with my grandchildren is what my Mother started: in their stockings go 1 or 2 handmade ornaments. That way, when they are old enough for thier first tree, they will have all the ornaments needed & memories along with them.

Anonymous said...

Like what you have done with the altar. I also hear what you are saying about leaving the xtian is a story many of us share. Please include me in your giveaway. sophiadawn2003 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

Great post! And thanks so much for participating in the Blog Party. :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Yule! This post is very touching! I hope better luck comes your way for the new year! I am happy to see you set up an altar! :)

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful I love the traditions that everyone is sharing on this blog party. It is quite exciting to see your altar as well. Very beautiful

Meadow said...

Your alter is absolutely beautiful. I loved all of the pictures too. My family has the traditions of driving around to see all the lights the night before Yule. I am so glad I found your blog via the hop. I am new to Pagan blogging, and so excited to meet everyone! I am your newest follower via GFC too! BB, Meadow

Lady Rose said...

Yuletide blessings

Happy Yule blog party

Deb said...

Love the alter and the paintings, beautiful. My path has been quite a bit like yours. However, after what I witnessed over the last year has made me revisit some of my early teachings and beliefs. I feel some of them mesh quite well with my new beliefs. In my mind I understand it all quite well, may not be able to explain it, but it works for me, and I feel peace with it. I think we all should choose the path that works best for us, no matter what it is, we all need to know, to belong. Thanks for your post

Unknown said...

It sounds like our children's Christmas's were a lot alike except I never felt like a Christian ever even when I was a child. And totally understand not understanding why bad things happen to innocent children(my daughters rape. I love your blog and am already a follower would love to win some of your beautiful art but even if I don't I'll still be a fan! bridgetsdaughter5

Kat of EmKatCreations said...

It's always interesting how traditions change and grow through the years. Your altar is beautiful and I hope you have a very blessed holiday.

I would love to be entered in your giveaway.


Toriz said...

Sounds like you had some lovely traditions; and now it's time for you to make some of your own centered around your new found beliefs. Sounds to me like you're off to a good start with that with your Yule altar for this year! :)

toriz at talk talk dot net

Reba said...

BLESSED YULE! Loving your wreath pentacle!

Ivy said...

Beautiful alter! Happy Yule!

Anonymous said...

Happy Yule! Although I am trailing behind the others it is because I can not just stop and read one post and move on. Your site is so full of wonderful things to admire and appreciate.
I do not have as much as an alter set out this year.

ike said...

That's such a wonderful story. It's such a shame as folks grow up that the 'magic' of Christmas disappears. I have Hanukkah but it's a celebration just the same and kinda like Christmas :-D xxxxx

ike said...

Ooops - sorry... really LOVE your alter. Fantastic images. :-D xxxx