The Yule Tide Season

Almost a month ago, the Christmas season was approaching its climax.  People were in a frenzy, attending to all of the physical trappings of the holiday.  Finally, in a crescendo of activity and shopping, lasting from Christmas Eve to morning of Christmas Day, the annual rite of materialism concluded.  The season was already jaded, worn out, with “What did you get?” being the main topic of conversation.  New Year’s Eve is an anti-climax, the real ‘celebration’ of the season, with high spirits and friendship,  excessive consumption of alcohol being the only marketable aspect.

Then comes that long, weary plod towards Summer.

Meanwhile, the days are beginning to get longer, Night has ceased its advance.  The Sun is no longer slipping lower and lower in the noonday sky, portending endless darkness, death, finality.  People often would wait until early January to celebrate the return of the Sun, the Yule, so that they could be sure that they were not early.  You did not want to upset the gods by being so smart-alecky as to celebrate something before it happened.  We celebrate materialism while the nights are getting longer.  The celebration of Light, and Life, started when the Night began to retreat.

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