Holiday Traditions

If you have been haunting the pagan community for more than 5 minutes, you'll be aware that a lot of us come from conservative, often Christian upbringings, and come to paganism and witchcraft with a zest and zeal for freedom to celebrate the holidays the way we want, not the way tradition and society dictates. Yule is often considered synonymous with Christmas in society, and most people outside of the pagan and witch community don't even know that they are in fact, two separate holidays, that happen to have been smacked together when the Romans conquered the Gauls and Celts. If you have been making the transition towards a more Yule-focused celebration than Christmas, then you may find this post helpful.


The emphasis for Christians or people who are Christmas-centric rather than Yule is often on decorations like a tree, and the gift-giving side of things. But if you're trying to celebrate a more pagan Yule tradition, you can try decorating your tree with nature or witchy-inspired decorations instead, like pentacles made from cinnamon sticks hot glued together (or sticks and twigs you find in nature), pinecones, bird and animal ornaments, and slices of fallen tree branches, decorated with Yule and witchy themes, like pentacles, triple moons, god and goddess images, etc. When the decorative emphasis is on nature and the seasons, it looks less Christmas-y, and more natural, the perfect aesthetic for witches.

When planning get-togethers with your friends, you can try to diminish the focus on gift-giving by asking that everyone bring an unwrapped toy to go to local children whose families can't afford Christmas, or money for a charity donation, or to donate that money in lieu of buying a gift at all. If you are looking for good ideas for charities to donate to, here are some of my personal favorite suggestions:

  • Unicef Survival Gifts
  • Local foodbanks, shelters, or transition houses
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • The Trevor Foundation
There are so many wonderful charities that need your help, especially around this time of year. My biggest tip for picking a charity to donate to is to pick one that helps a cause you feel passionate about. Feeding children in developing countries isn't your thing? Maybe donate to your local SPCA to help rescued animals get treated for their injuries or health problems and find a new home. Feel passionately about equal opportunity education? Find a charity that helps young girls get to school. Angered by the AIDS epidemic in developing countries? There's definitely a few organizations that help with treatment, education, and emotional support for people suffering or impacted by it!


Tired of the metric tonne of chocolate and sweets that end up coming your way each year? Cut down on them by crafting a candle-countdown advent calendar for Yule, just like this one? You can head on over to my YouTube channel to see me make my own on November 28th! All the supplies for the advent calendar candle wreath (pictured above) came from the dollar store, and the total came to about $20, and I'll be able to use all of these pieces again next year (maybe minus the tealights, I'll have to invest in some new ones). My YouTube channel can be found here

Still feeling the bug to give gifts to your loved ones this year, but want to make it more Yule-relavent? Try giving spiritually-focused gifts instead! Good at embroidery? Embroider a design onto fabric and make it the cover on a dream pillow that you stuff yourself with herbs. Handy with clay? Make some altar tiles, wall plaques, or mini statuettes for your loved ones that depict pagan themes or deities. Woodwork more your thing? What about making boxes for your friends' tarot decks? Knitters, sewers, and crocheters can craft tarot bags, altar cloths, tapestries, and more. Or, you can purchase spiritual gifts too. Handcrafted journals, crystals of all shapes and sizes, oils, spell candles, tarot or oracle decks, musical instruments like rattels, drums, and shakers, salt lamps, candle holders, the list is endless! Witchy peeps are usually in need of "witchy consumables" I like to call them, so I always try to give at least one of those to my pagan friends every year. I would consider consumables to be journals, pens, herbs, oils, and candles. They are things that once you start using them, they will have a definite "shelf-life" or "life time" before they're not usable anymore. Your witchy friends who are on tight budgets will definitely appreciate these sorts of gifts!


Well my lovelies, I hope you will have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, and that it's filled with the people you love, joy, happiness, and magick. If you're finding this year difficult to get through, I also have a free downloadable worksheet set that I crafted by hand. You can download the Holiday Survival Worksheets as a PDF on the "Free Gifts" page, here on my website! 

Until next time guys, blessed Yule, and blessed be!
Jess

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