The Spiritual Mother

Celebrating Motherhood as a Spiritual Guide and Path.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How a Kitchen Witch Does Yule..

In my family growing up Christmas was a huge deal.  My mother had about 10 different themed trees from a Waterford Crystal  and silver tree, to a Coca-Cola tree and more.  We celebrated the Italian feast of 7 fishes on Christmas Eve, and had tons of presents and a huge meal with a ton of family including all the cousins, 2nd and 3rd.  We always got dressed up and had a meal that would give a nutritional a heart attack.  We started out with fruit cocktail, all hand cut and prepared.  We then had a lasagne course, then the main meal and then salad and then dessert.  It was a big deal!  It wasn't about the birth of Jesus at all.  In fact it was rarely brought up!  It was about family and sharing a big meal and giving to each other.  It was about love.  I see allot of pagans today creating a big deal and hoopla about Christmas.  It is a combination of things too.  Some people go off on huge tirades about how Christmas tradition is actually pagan and they are upset that everyone says this or that.  The other people get into the whole "well I am pagan now so I want nothing to do with Christmas". Well I am going to give all these pagans the words of Italian sage advice and say "Fagedaboutit".  Having a different spiritual belief than your family does not mean you need to dismiss the traditions of your youth. 

Then we have pagans that celebrate both holidays and blend the old with the new.  I am of this last school.  For us Christmas is a family day when we spend time with our bio family.  The span of time over December gives us homage to both traditions.  We start here with the decorations.  I am always aching to put them up as soon as Samhain decorations get put away.  This year I put them up before Thanksgiving, which always causes a stir on the Facebook page!  But I just love them because everything is up for a reason and reflects my cultural upbringing and my spirituality. 

For example, my tree this year, pictured above, is turquoise to represent the cool of winter, and gold to reflect the birth of the sun.  I have a golden pentacle on top with pentacles and dragonflies in honor of my totem.  I hang fairies in the windows, I put out more candles.  I also do things to bring my past celebrations of Christmas to the ritual circle, such as putting color coordinated nutcrackers at each quarter, and drinking cocoa and cookies instead of cakes and wine. 

I also have traditions with foods, such as the feast of seven fishes on Christmas Eve.  Italians do not eat meat that day and traditionally eat a huge variety of seafood in the evening.  I also cook a huge pasta selection for my annual Yule party and invite my pagan and mundane friends.  We have a social gathering and drink and be merry with a golden candle lit for the Sun God each year.  My penne alla vodka is always a huge deal and has become a tradition among friends. 

We also do Christmas Morning.  We get up like other children and turn on the tree to discover Santa has been to our home.  Santa to us is an analogy of the Gods.  We leave him a "libation" of milk and cookies and in turn he provides us with gifts.   That does sound familiar.  Even if we don't celebrate Christmas it allows my son to learn about that symbiotic relationship on his level.  It also allows him to experience something with other children, the magic of Santa.

We all know that the traditions of the holidays come from many sources, pagan and non-pagan.  We hear people making a huge deal about putting the "Christ back in Christmas".  I also hear pagans being infuriated by this last group of people and creating a large hoopla about it.  Who cares if people want to be bigoted and ignorant, we do not need to feed their energy.  The best thing you can do is to celebrate the holidays the best and most fun way you can.  Blessed Yule to all.