Well, when you have a bunch of pieces of leftover paper, it’s just too easy to get lost in making these delicate origami creations. Plus, sometimes I get carried away with decorating and preparing for the festivities. Making snowflakes is just one of the things I do to get into the spirit of the holidays. It’s time for a Celebration!
No, that’s not what I meant! (well, I mean, if you insist…)
But this is the time to get swept up with the merriment of the season. It may not be the “most wonderful time of the year” for many, due to the added stress on bank accounts and overwhelming expectation to give “that perfect gift”. There is much joy to be found in the winter, despite the challenges brought on by the cold and darkness. You don’t have to subscribe to the image of perfection that many strive for during Christmas, with the hung stockings all in a row, the perfectly placed ornaments on the tree, the ample pile of presents heaped together. I’ve experienced a few “years without a Santa Clause” as a child, and what made up for the lack of presents were the memories I created with my family and friends. It sounds mushy and cheesy, but it’s so true!
I haven’t completely abandoned my love for the holiday, even though I did let go of my affiliations with Christianity quite a few years ago. I want to continue to celebrate Christmas with everyone else in the family, while adding my own traditions. I’m going to recognize the Pagan holiday Yule, which is actually where many of our Christmas traditions originated from. “Pagans celebrate Yule and Winter Solstice as a time to celebrate the passing of the longest night, and to look forward to the brighter days of the future”(Wiccanspells.info).
I’m not even 100% dedicated to the Wiccan religion, I just want to learn more about it, and right now I’m dedicating some time to research their practices and holidays (or Sabbats). The winter solstice is the recognition of the shortest day of the year, which is a great thing to celebrate, because it means that the days are only going to get longer from this point on! My mood being highly influenced by the sun’s presence myself, I look forward to getting more daylight in the evenings. I’m still not yet sure how I’m going to create my own version of Christmas; I’m still exploring the ways of other cultures.
I also just came across an Icelandic tradition called Jolabokaflod, where Icelandic people celebrate Christmas by getting cosy and reading by a fire the night before. Now that’s my kind of celebration! Definitely going to make a point of doing this every Christmas Eve now, just like I did as a child.
My family opens Christmas crackers like they do in the UK because my aunt and uncle are from Scotland. You pull both ends of this long tube that looks like a big piece of wrapped candy, and a bit of gunpowder within makes a satisfying POP sound. Then you are left with a toy, or paper crown, and a few cheesy jokes. That was their addition to our family traditions because of the way they celebrate it over there, and I’ve loved doing it ever since.
I found this explanation from whychristmas.com: “The Christmas Crackers that are used today are short cardboard tubes wrapped in colorful paper. There is normally a Cracker next to each plate on the Christmas dinner table. When the crackers are pulled – with a bang! – a colorful party hat, a toy or gift and a festive joke falls out! The party hats look like crowns and it is thought that they symbolize the crowns that might have been worn by the Wise Men.”
I would love to increase my knowledge of how other cultures celebrate this time of year, and maybe even incorporate some new traditions into my life. I guess I’m trying to say that however you celebrate this time of year, may it be with wrapped boxes or candles and altars or Christmas crackers or just books and warm beverages, may this time of merrymaking be blessed for you indeed ♥♥♥