Decorations lay scattered across the floor, lights flicker on the tree erected where our family altar* usually stands. The theme for our altar and celebrations since buying and moving into our first house has been "let's do something different." This is not to suggest that we're not still maintaining our traditions, not still enacting the rites as passed from parents and grandparents, rather what we are doing is looking to create new traditions, new ways in which to celebrate our faith and our family.
Normally, we would have the tree in one corner of the main room, while still maintaining our family altar either in the same room or another. This year we are a bit crammed for space and over the course of years, our Yule decorations have come more and more to include symbolic representations of our faith. This year we've made the natural transition, then, to the tree being the altar.
It seems fitting, though I'm unsure of how we're going to work the usual Winter Solstice ritual. Something about fire and a tree (even if it is synthetic; we can't do the potted tree and we've used this tree every year since it was given to us several years ago) makes me uneasy. Keep thinking of combining bits from our outdoor rituals involving actual living trees, but that feels blasphemous to me.
I'm still working out my thoughts and feelings on this one. It's a change I'm not particularly liking and though I'm trying to be flexible I feel more liking I'm going to snap then bend and adjust. That, too, seems only fitting as this time more than any other in the year is accompanied by much stress and agitation.
The children don't care much one way or the other. They're happy as long as there is a tree, cookies, and presents. Admittedly, I wish my own concerns were there. But, this holiday season leaves me only feeling nauseous. Trying to be excited, trying to feel the magic (spelling on purpose,) but there's too much change going on within our extended families. Yes, my Taurus Sun is showing and me fighting change is a common theme, but that doesn't make it any easier.
But, we may be baking cookies tomorrow. Nothing fancy, some sugar, some drop, all yummy. Still debating the spice cookies if only because I can't find the electric herb grinder and grinding that much clove by hand with the mortar and pestle will be impossible to achieve timely and without a huge mess (because the three older children will insist on trying, too. Experience says this is not advised. lol)
As my blogging has been rather sporadic lately, I wish you all, precious readers, a very Blessed Winter Solstice and Dark Moon.
*I know, I know: it's more accurately termed a "shrine" as it is only truly an altar while being actively used. When not in use, this somewhat-decorated-highly-symbolic-flat-surface is a shrine to our Gods and ancestors. Forgive the inaccuracy 'twas merely sticking with common terms for ease of conversation.
Throwing the Bones