Wishing Everyone a Blessed Yule

Posted by Bitten Usagi at 9:30 AM
So did you see the lunar eclipse last night?  I thought it was a really cool event for being Yule, since this is about welcoming the sun back (It's the longest night of the year and from now on the days will start getting longer, which I'm not exactly a fan of but I do love me some Yule festivities, especially of the celestial kind).  I tried to stay up and nearly made it to full on eclipse but was in serious need of some sleep.
Lunar Eclipse

So what are you doing/did do to celebrate?  Did you ring bells to greet the Solstice morning?  Or perhaps you decorated your Yule tree or Yule log instead.  Or maybe you sat down with the kids and cleaned your closets to take donations to your local shelter or did a little shopping with them for non-perishables to donate to the food bank.

Or maybe you went about your business like it was any other day, unaware today was any different than any other Tuesday before Christmas.  ;)  Or even better maybe you started this post & realized today really does sound like a good day to donate to someone a little less fortunate in honor of whatever holiday spirit you claim.  ^w^

I think I'm more excited about the Yules to come than anything.  Why?  Because they will include making ornaments and other decorations with the kids (well when they're old enough which will obviously not be next year) and doing things like donating to shelters and food banks and such as well.  I've also decided that we'll have a second tree, a Yule tree to put up on Yule (shhh don't tell Cody as this means buying another to be our Christmas tree) where we'll have all our homemade ornaments, which is currently our only tree.  Which Cody laughs at, the jerk. (Kidding, you know I love you baby)

Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays now but... well, I'm ready for kids and let's just say like May seems AGES away right now.  I know it will be here before I know it but ugh.  

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Yule post becomes me talking about being pregnant.  Lol.  Stay tuned because I can guarantee you it won't be the last time. ^w^;

Now I leave you with some other activities, mostly decorations to make other than the activities I listed above and I hope maybe you'll find some of it fun and give it a go either yourself or with your kids (don't have kids?  Borrow some, lol.  Nieces & nephews are great, plus you can feed them sugar while you make said decorations and send them home with Mom & Dad *evil grin*  My bro-in-law & his wife should really be glad we live 3 hours away, hahaha!).  ^w^ 

Cup O' Sunshine
Terra-Cotta Pot, Paints and Paintbrushes, Styrofoam Block, String, Scissors, 1 yd 2" wide Green Ribbon, Yellow, Red, and Orange Lollipops and Sugar Sticks, Jelly Beans.

Clean terra-cotta pot if necessary. Allow to dry. Paint outside and down to first lip of inside with a bright solid color. After this base coat dries, decorate with other colors. When completely dry, place a block of styrofoam in the bottom of the pot. Cut green leaves out of the ribbon and tie to lollipops with string. Push the lollipop sticks into the styrofoam block to anchor them. Add the sugar sticks and fill rest of pot with loose jellybeans. (Explain to children that during the dark part of the year, sometimes we need to make our own sunshine. Let them know that bright colored gardens and flowers will be back in the spring, and this little pot of sunshine will cheer up a sick friend or relative.) 

Dough Art Decorations
4 cups flour, 2 cups water, 1 cup salt, Cookie Cutters, Wire Ornament Hangers, Acrylic Paints.

Combine flour, salt, and water in a large bowl. Dough should kneed easily but not be sticky, if so, add more flour. On a flat surface, lay down some waxed paper. Take a handful of the dough and roll out with a rolling pin. Cut dough into shapes with the cookie cutters. Make a hole in top of "cookie" for wire hanger. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and put in oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until *slightly* brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly. Paint with acrylic paints. Allow to dry, place hanger in hole and adorn tree, packages, or hang in windows. (Allow children to make-up Yule stories to go along with each decoration they are making.) 

Bake a Yule Log Cake
 There are several recipes and as of yet I haven't tried any (may give one a go this evening though) but there are two on this site, which also has some more info about Yule logs, that you may like and if you have one you've tested and know to be amazing let me know and I'll post it up here too! :D

Yule Fire Spell
On the darkest night of the year, gather together three dried leaves of holly and pulverize them into powder. On a clean, four-inch by four-inch piece of paper, write a single word in red ink that represents what quality you would like to be born within yourself along with the newborn Yule Sun.
Sprinkle the holly powder into the center of the paper and twist the whole thing closed with the holly powder inside. Light the wick of a red candle, and from this flame, light the holly- filled paper on fire. As it burns, see your wish fulfilled.

And I understand this kind of stuff isn't for anyone but I believe that understanding is one of the greatest gifts we are given and being open helps us all realize that we're really not that different.  ^w^

Have a Blessed Yule everyone!!!



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