Yeah, I said Yule. I don’t usually bother making a distinction because, well, most people wouldn’t even notice. But I had a hell of a surprise on Christmas Eve. Let me tell you briefly about it.
First let me say that I had to work all week. ALL week. And on Christmas Eve, the BossMan sent home everyone except for yours truly, so for three hours I was handling everything on my own (when a similar department was handling about half as much traffic with 4 people, if that gives you an idea as to how bad an idea that was). SO, after that fiasco, I got back in my “Service Engine Soon” car (did I mention that it started displaying that on my way to work that day? Yeah, fun times), and drove to Uncle Brad and Aunt Janet’s house for our traditional Night Before Christmas meal and White Elephant gift exchange.
Before dinner, we went around the table and were meant to tell what we were all thankful for. Right before me, my Uncle Brad kinda cut in and started rambling on about how it wasn’t REALLY Baby Jesus’ birthday, that that was in fact in the summer, that this was just a Pagan holiday . . . “Oh, but Ash would know all about that. Tell us.” So I said something along the lines of:
“Back in the day, Pagans all over the world held festivals and ceremonies on the longest night of the year wherein they exhorted their gods and nature to bring back the Sun. So I guess I would have to say that’s what I’M most thankful for. For this turning point. Let the sun; let the happy, good, and bright times come again in this coming New Year.”
For the first time my family looked at me like they understood a little bit why I counted myself a polytheist. And while it was mostly drunken fun (did I ALSO forget to mention that part of this tradition is the consumption of at least one LARGE bottle of Sambuca? Best line of the night: “I don’t have to brush my teeth for like THREE DAYS!”), many of the attendees still called the holiday Yule for the rest of the night rather than Christmas. Because celebrating the hope of the coming of better times seems so much more important than the arbitrary (and false) celebration of the birth of a demi-god.
Just thought I’d share . . .