PP – Yule With The Kids

By Jodi Lee
~Originally Published November 2000~
(see author/copyright info below)

Please note that our familial circumstances have changed since this article was written. I have removed the paternal influence’s name from the article at my daughters’ request.

As I described incessantly in my “Christmas With The Family” article, we celebrate both Yule and Christmas in this house. The girls get a single gift on Yule night, and that’s the night we have our family dinner, just the four of us. It’s rarely the traditional fare that most think of for the season…most years it’s been pizza from Pizza Hut. And invariably I tell this story to the girls every year on Yule Night. We light candles, and I cast a circle (not by any means formally). Inside our circle, we have our dinner, J. and I have wine, and the girls have milk. We share our dinner, and then the presents, and then they want the stories. I first tell them of the Goddess, and how every year she has a baby, on this very night. That baby is Lugh, and he brings light, and warmth back to the world. His shining golden face shines over us every day, just as his mother’s face shines upon us this night. After this story, if they don’t ask for the myth of Rhiannon and Pwyll, they ask for the story of how we began celebrating Yule as a family..and why it’s so different from other families (not in the Pagan / Christian way either).

Our non-traditional Yule started the year Rhiannon was one, and Carrie was still small enough I could hold her in one arm. I was exhausted (midnight, two and four AM feedings), J. and I were technically separated, although he spent a lot of time at my place helping with both girls and keeping the heaters going, and neither of us were employed. J. had received a fairly large amount of money from his former employer, and I had just received a large monetary gift from an aunt, to be spent on the girls and myself in equal parts. It was a belated baby/wedding gift.

As J. and I talked out how we were going to work our budgets for the month, we didn’t include the gift from my aunt. That money was to make the season special for our girls. It was to be Carrie’s first Christmas, and Rhiannon was just old enough to get into things herself.

The call came later that afternoon, just before we were to go and start the shopping. A job offer that literally opened up the season, and helped us get back on our feet both financially and as a couple.

Let me go back just one year earlier. Rhiannon was 3 months old, still one of the tiniest babies my family had ever seen (she was two months premature), and dressed in a wonderful little suit of white and red…our families were gathered at the courthouse, and J. and I were making it official. We’d lived together for several years, had suffered the loss of pregnancies, had gone through Rhiannon’s birth and struggle for life, and miraculous recovery. We knew we were to be together…why not just sign the paper and get it “officialized” by the law’s eyes?

The day was December 17th, 1993. We didn’t really think much about it before we did it. I had hinted that I wanted to, and so had J.. Looking over Rhiannon’s head during a feeding, our eyes met, and we just – decided. Later that day, we went and got the license. Neither of us knew that we needed to provide a date of ceremony. We stood there, with what I am sure were the stupidest looks anyone could have, and asked for a calendar.

We chose Monday, December 20th. Three days to tell our families and friends. That scared me more than the actual formality, the finality of it all. But I knew I had chosen the right day…what better way to spend Yule? We married, feasted with my family, and went home to candles, circle, and wine – and the honeymoon. Ahem…(blush)

Going back to ’94…J.’s new job was to begin immediately after Christmas. To celebrate our anniversary, and the girl’s first Yule, we went to a local town, took the girls to stores (even then, at two and a half months old, Carrie’s eyes lit up when she saw the mall…not a good sign for the future..), and Rhiannon picked out her gift and Carrie’s gift. It was starting to snow, so instead of staying in town to eat at a restaurant, we picked up pizzas from Pizza Hut. On the way through the neighboring town to go home, we stopped and picked up the wine.

In the livingroom at home, we set everything up for Rhiannon, Carrie, J. and I to have our first Yule meal as a complete family. I walked the circle with Carrie in my arms, and then sat down with her in my lap. J. passed Rhiannon her bottle, and a slice of cheese pizza. Her very first pizza! What the heck, I figured, and stuck a corner of the piece I held in my hand in Carrie’s mouth…(another no-no, now she can’t get enough pizza..). She made a face, but she loved it. I placed her on the floor beside Rhiannon, and she immediately went to sleep.

Later on, after I released the circle and put Carrie in her crib, and Rhiannon in her crib, we set up the tree, a gift from my mother to Rhiannon the year before. We wrapped the presents we had purchased for Christmas, and spent the rest of the night talking, enjoying each other. When Rhiannon woke in the middle of the night, instead of just calming her back to sleep, I brought her down and showed her the tree…her little face was so animated with wonder and surprise…it’s an image I will never forget.

Jodi Lee – is a freelance writer/editor living in southern Manitoba, Canada.
© 2000 – present All Rights Reserved; Republish notice excluded.

This article can be republished elsewhere in its entirety so long as the author is notified (see contact information), a link is provided to the website, and this notice is left intact.

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