Oh, there you are Yule

There is a profound difference in the experience of a holiday as an adult, compared to when I was young. I’ve still got some very unpleasant memories of being young, but the holidays in my immediate family, away from the poisonous influence of my more distant relatives, were pretty great.

I would come home from school and there would be decorations where none had been. I came in from the barn and met the sweet smell of baking bread or cookies. Presents and packages appeared a few at a time under the tree until we were bursting with excitement to see what was inside of them.

The important difference is this: as a child, the holiday appeared around me with little effort from myself. Now, it doesn’t happen unless I do it myself.

Mom can’t handle the decorating anymore, Dad isn’t home enough. These two facts represent the whole reason they asked me to come back, after all. If we want a tree set up, I have to do it. If we want a feast, Mom can’t do it on her own. Presents got scaled way back years ago and overall, we all prefer it that way. Better to keep it simple. Puzzle books, gas cards, booze are all preferable to gadgets or clothes in this family.

So… I did the decorating, at least at Mom’s. She does Christmas with an Old World flair and I do Yule, and basically you can’t tell the two apart from the outside. It’s pretty great.

Her tree is up, her halls are decked, the house is wearing its red bows and garland. There are many dozens of cookies in the freezer. I don’t have many presents to give, because trying to do all of this on very little income is not easy. I choose to spend my money on things like food and stuff for the house and cabin and goats and garden. You know, useful stuff. I do have a few trinkets hidden away, but not many. I’ve got the ceramic tree up in the cabin since I don’t have room for a real one- and don’t need a real one since I’m surrounded by white pines. I’ll just decorate them. They seem to enjoy it.

The weather still hasn’t cooperated but the trimmings are up.

It can be Yule, now.


2 thoughts on “Oh, there you are Yule

  1. A far more traditional celebration than that born of modern consumerism. We still have a remnant of the consumerism celebration in that we send gifts to children and grandchildren. This feels like it balances the physical distance a little, but we do not go into debt over Christmas. In fact, most of our gift shopping is done before “black Friday.” To us and the one son that lives locally, a festival of lights (decorated tree) and gathering for a holiday feast are what makes this season special. While we miss children and grandchildren that live far away, we also find it easy to focus more on Yule than Christmas due to this arrangement. The simplicity is quite enjoyable.

    A blessed Yule to you and your parents.


    • That sounds like a pretty good balance between the different expectations this time of year.
      I love the ‘festival of lights’ aspect of this season. One of the things we used to go do every year before gas prices got too high was take a long winding drive down back roads and look at all of the lights. It was one of my favorite parts of the season.

      Liked by 1 person

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