Getting ready for Yule

In my family, there are pagans and those who celebrate Christmas as a tradition rather than because they are Christian. I decorate my house for Christmas with a tree and lights and a wreath on the door.

While I totally enjoy the lights and the tree, I also make room to add decorations specifically for Yule. The wreath on my door is likely to be in the shape of a five-pointed star. I have brought greenery from the garden into my home: ivy and branches from bushes whose names I have long forgotten.

Many of the Yule decorations are handmade. For me, this fits well with my pagan beliefs. I re-use and recycle to give life to something new. I used left-over wool to create little jumpers, each embroidered with a letter. Strung together they spell the word Yule. They are hanging from the besom which in turn is suspended from the ceiling.

The greenery is festooned with baubles made from felt and the odds and ends in my sewing box, again left over from other projects. I cut shapes from felt, two for each bauble. On one piece I sewed buttons and sequins, added a hanging ribbon, then sandwiched the unsightly back with its casting off between the other piece, stitching them together with blanket stitch. It’s a nice little project to do on an evening when you need something small between your fingers that doesn’t take up too much space.

We exchange handmade presents as well. I can’t share with you what I have made, not yet, just in case anyone who might receive one is reading this.

The Yule ritual is well under construction. Each year we try to make it relevant to the current circumstances and the people who will be joining us. I’m hoping that we manage to stay out of lockdown; I will continue to prepare with my fingers crossed.

Portland Jones, Disability Liaison for Pagan Federation Midlands