Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yuletide Linkification, now with snark!

I'm not feeling terribly motivated to post something long today, as DS just had his birthday party, and i'm wiped.

so.... in lieu of a more insightful and thoughtful post... you get some Yuletide links to other interesting stuff! (yay)

How to celebrate Yule - basic ideas, good for someone not familiar with the holiday

celebrating yule as a family - lot of diverse ideas. might try some of these this year!

Decorating a Yule Altar - decent ideas. going to try to get my altar set up this week... well... maybe. we'll see how it goes. still have tons of gifts to wrap (and wrappers [furoshiki] to sew) yikes!

(more on furoshiki here, if you are not familiar with them)

and now, for your sing along song....

something just a little snarky (do not sing this in front of dear old Aunt Edith with the rosary beads clutched in her hands. It might just be too much for her!)

note: youtube karaoke singalong below the words.

another note: borrowed the words from this page here

yet another note: you really should sing along, eh? (well okay, unless you're at work...... YOU can hum along instead!)

(Gloria in Excelsius Deo)

CHORUS: Glorious!
Christmas time is pagan!
Christmas time is pagan!

Christmas time is here again,
Decorations everywhere.
Christmas carols ringing out,
Gentle pagans, we don't care.

Modern folks all celebrate
What they learned in Sunday School.
In December, they don't know
They are celebrating Yule!

Let them have their Christmas trees,
Decked in red and green and blue.
We rejoice at every one!
Christmas trees are pagan, too.

Bowls of bubbly Christmas cheer,
Fill your cup and quench your thirst.
They think the tradition's theirs.
Wassail bowls were pagan, first.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Every door and window bears
Wreaths of holly, wreaths of pine.
Circles represent the Sun.
Every wreath is yours and mine.

Christmas lights on Christmas trees,
Candle flames burn higher and higher,
Let us cheer along, my friends,
As they light their Yuletide fire.

There's a possibility
That this song is yours and mine
'Cause the tune was known to all
Back in A.D. one-two-nine.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yule and gift-giving

Over the years, my family has worked our way towards a more home-made, hand-made gift-giving tradition. This is in part financial (the Jones's we are not), but it is also because working on gifts through the year, putting energy into them, is infinitely more satisfying than going and buying some miscellaneous item (thoughtful though it may be) that happens to fall in your price range.

This doesn't mean we don't buy items. Honestly, about half our gifting in any one year is purchased, particularly items within our household, but i think this is in part because the handmade goods get given within the house throughout the year.

one gift some of our family and friends can expect this year is pictured below:
orange and cherry fondants, with the small centre bits of chocolate covered candied ginger

candied ginger and eggnog fondant

coffee, peppermint, and chocolate flavours
this was all made with one batch of filling, and the recipe for it is on joybilee farm.

all told, i made over 3 pounds of chocolates!!!

one recipe i improvised was for the coffee flavored filling. i used the following:
1tbsp Kahlua
1/2 tbsp instant coffee

to note with many of the filling recipes: some are too dry, and need extra butter (or a few drops of water)
and the rest are too moist, and need extra icing sugar. but they all taste wonderful!

oh, and one more thing:  here's the finished super-secret gift for you to see:
asymmetrically striped dogswool/wool mitts

and for music today, here is a page with a number of songs, most containing an audio file. lots of nice variants on old standards!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

yuletide and still random :D

this years tree... still waiting on popcorn strings and the like

yarn for super-secret project. it contains suint-ferment cleaned wool and detergent washed dog hair.

the skein. it should work up as striping. we shall see.

(words below and more can be found at, as well as an mp3 of their version of the song!) 

O Tannenbaum       
German traditional, transl. by Diana L. Paxson:
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
With faithful leaves unchanging;
Not only green in summer´s heat,
But also winter´s snow and sleet,
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
With faithful leaves unchanging.

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Of all the trees most lovely;
Each year, you bring to me delight
Gleaming through the Solstice night.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Of all the trees most lovely.

                                             O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
                                           Your leaves will teach me, also,
                                          That hope and love and faithfulness
                                        Are precious things I can possess,
                                         O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
                                       Your leaves will teach me, also.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter and wassailing


The Wassail Song (slightly altered)

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And Gods bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And Gods send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggers
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbors' children
Whom you have seen before
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And Gods bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And Gods send you a Happy New Year.

Good master and good mistress,
As you sit beside the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who wander in the mire.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And Gods bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And Gods send you a Happy New Year

We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;
We want some of your small change
To line it well within.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And Gods bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And Gods send you a Happy New Year.

Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a cheese,
And of your Yuletide loaf.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And Gods bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And Gods send you a Happy New Year.

Gods bless the master of this house,
Likewise the mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And Gods bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And Gods send you a Happy New Year. 

as much as i love the changing of the seasons, winter is admittedly my least favorite, and not only because we get winter-like weather for up to six months of the year here!

the photos above are of my driveway and yard about 4 days ago, shortly after a snowfall (one of many so far)

and are sent out specially for those of you in warmer climates who might not get as much cold weather... see all that white.... even the sky is frosty off white a good portion of the time. *sigh* oh well.... it's almost yule :) yay!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Yuletide traditions, a conversation (with added music!)

them: so, you're Pagan, right?

me: yeah...

them: so, do you celebrate Christmas?

me: no, we (my family) celebrate Yule, or winter Solstice, which is around the 21st of December.

them: what about presents? santa claus? christmas tree? everything else?

me: well, Yule is a celebration of the end of the fall and the beginning of winter. the winter solstice is the darkest day of the year, so we celebrate the return of the sun, and the beginning of the new.

My family doesn't have Santa Claus come and visit. instead, Chris Kringle, who is much like the early 1900's version of 'santa' comes, wearing his long green robes, and brings one gift to each good child, plus stockings for everyone. (he doesn't come visibly, of course. i'd be willing to help costume someone if i knew anyone willing to play the part some time!)

we have a yule tree. it has a lot of nature based ornaments, and pentacles. we also decorate a tree outside, and include decorations that serve the dual purpose of being food for the local birds...

as for everything else.. well, we tend to be pretty low-key pagans. we sometimes, but not always, do religious-specific celebrating. it is, however, a bit on the back-burner lately with our children needing most of our time, energy,  and attention.

we also sing carols, and you'd recognize some of  them, and give gifts to each other, our family, and friends, however, we work towards making gifts rather than buying them, and don't try to focus on the amount spent, as long as the gift is thoughtful and well meant.

(to note, this exact conversation is just a paraphrasing of a number of conversations i've had with friends over the years)

our yule tree 2009

The Yule Song

(Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) : Lyrics -my version!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Kringle's on his way;
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother's child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
     Merry Yule to you.


hope everyone has their gift making and buying nearly done! mine is about 90% !!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

more yuletide randomness

yule decoration ideas    some of these you may have seen before, but there are lots of great tree decorating ideas.

yule-centric nativity varient       this version includes the different faces of the Goddess, the reborn sun-god, and lots of nature. sounds pretty cute!

and here's the _full_ lyrics... including one verse i hadn't heard before!

Jingle bells:

1. Dashing through the snow, 
on a one horse open sleigh,
o'er the hills we go,
laughing all the way!
Bells on bobtail ring,
making spirits bright,
what fun it is to ride and sing
a sleighing song tonight! Oh...

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.
oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh!
jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh!

2. A day or two ago,
I thought I'd take a ride,
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side;
The horse was lean and lank;
Misfortune seemed his lot;
He got into a drifted bank,
And we, we got upsot.

3. A day or two ago,
the story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.

4. Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob-tailed bay
two-forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.

hope everyone enjoys singing along. i know my kids did! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Yuletide music and thursday randomness

i've discovered that i can ply yarn with one hand (and a foot), while drinking coffee with the other.

my Yule tree is up, and lovely, but needs more pagan ornaments. will have to work on that

darling daughter + homeschooling is seeming like a fight right now, so we're backing off to 'easy stuff' for a bit, see how that goes...

my tomato plants suck water like nobody's business. i'm having to water them heavily every two days

i love hot chocolate, but wish that it didn't have any calories ;)

ravelry truly is addicting. really. trust me.

i've tried spinning my first 'alternative fibre'.... and am currently plying a unique skein of dogswool+sheepswool  :) fun times.

hope everyone is having a wonderful and chilly time.

see y'all soon. expect more random.... 'cause random's what i got!