Build Yule traditions that are tailored to your practice and your talents with these ideas to create lasting memories and celebrations that you can pass on to the next generation.
Today, we’re talking about how to not just celebrate the Winter Solstice, but how to make it a holiday of family legacy that your kids will remember. And maybe even do with their own families one day.
What is a tradition?
A tradition is a belief, behavior, custom, or practice passed down from one generation to another.
When followed and repeated over an extended period, it becomes an ingrained part of a particular culture, community, or family.
Traditions can be religious, cultural, social, or familial in nature, and they play a significant role in shaping a group’s identity and values.
You may think of traditions as customs that are very old or have a long history. But a tradition is just something that is repeated over time. You likely had your own family traditions around the holidays, and perhaps some of them were completely unique to you. (Maybe you didn’t leave cookies for Santa. Maybe you left pickles).
Consider your heritage.
If you think you have no family history of magic, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re totally wrong.
Magic—whether it’s a horseshoe over the threshold, a handful of salt over the shoulder, or a warning from your grandmother to never whistle at night—is part of every culture, all over the world, since the dawning of civilization.
Research your roots and your family history. Discover what winter folk traditions might be appropriately incorporated into your own holiday season.
Use your talents.
Are you a whiz in the kitchen? Make it a point to whip up a batch of Yule cookies every year.
Or, serve everyone a fancy, winter-themed cocktail.
If you are a great storyteller, come up with your own winter tale to share fireside with the children every year. (My mother did this, and I still remember all the details!)
You are more likely to repeat something that is in line with your skills and abilities year after year.
Make sure to include everyone.
Come up with traditions that don’t put all the work on you.
If you want to build a Winter Solstice fire every year, have the little kids collect kindling and the older teenagers and adults can help make Winter Solstice fire blessing bundles.
Or, have everyone tie some herbal evergreens (like rosemary or pine) to the Yule log, along with wishes for the coming new year written on pieces of paper, before setting it all ablaze.
Give it some time to “stick.”
A tradition isn’t something that happens once, but a process of repetition.
The more times you repeat the tradition, the more special it becomes. And the more likely you are to repeat it the next year.
Creating a new tradition requires intention and focus—which is what magic is made of.
Happy Winter Solstice!