Anticipating Yule

A definite air of waiting this week. She feels it too. This hound is used to quiet during the day. Undisturbed time lounging on the sofa. Mulling over world affairs, I like to think. In reality, she is probably dreaming of chasing squirrels up trees.

This week, has felt more like a performance of Waiting for Godot going on around her. Anticipating something that doesn’t happen, while people bustle around her doing not a lot. I bet she misses the squirrels.

Christmas on a Monday, coupled with the children breaking up so early, has created an odd space.

Not that we’ve been idle. There has been secret making and baking. Wood collected. Turkey from the farm ordered. A trip to the dentist. A car ride to see the local lights. The Winter Solstice to celebrate.

(Yule log ready to go on the fire) *

 It took a couple of days for the children to shake off school. The age difference seems even larger at the moment. There is only a five year gap, but the daily experience of a 10 year old to a 15 year old might as well be played out on different planets.

I set up a reward system, where they need to spend so much time reading, making, playing a board game together and playing a musical instrument. It has worked. Less screen time and more collaboration. Each day, all three of them have won their prize and harmony is restored.

But there is still an air of waiting for something.

*Yule log  –  I’ve been asked in the past what we do with our yule log, so I thought I’d share. The idea is that as the year turns on the Winter Solstice, you leave something behind. Something that is holding you back. It could be a behaviour like impatience/judgement/intolerance/reliance, or a habit. It has to be about you, not someone else. Nor can it be your annoying little brother. No names to be written.

It is a secret too. Between the person and the yule log.

Each person writes a word or two on a piece of paper, folds it up and wedges it in among the foliage wrapped around the yule log. Once everyone has added their piece of paper, the yule log goes on the fire. We tend to watch quietly while the log catches fire and the paper smoulders, thinking about the word we’ve written. Watching it disappear as smoke up the chimney. Letting it go.

Do it right and you’ll find yourself reflecting on the positive version of the word all year (eg intolerance turns to tolerance). A gentle nudge, rather than the all-or-nothing that I’ve found from resolutions made on 1st January. It taps into a different part of the brain, allowing more chance of success. The rest will then follow, and change will happen.

I wonder what the hound would write.

Solstice Blessings to all.

Joining in with #wotw. What sums up your week?

16 thoughts on “Anticipating Yule

  • Friday 22 December, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    That’s a lovely idea, I can see how it would work. The hound would obviously write something quite profound. My two break up from school today, so we’ve not really got much wind down time before Monday, but I do like your reward system idea. Have a lovely Christmas x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • Saturday 23 December, 2017 at 1:17 am

      Bound to be profound. Nothing to do with squirrels, I should imagine……

  • Friday 22 December, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Do you know I’ve never given much thought to Yule Tide until I saw someone mention it this year. That’s a lovely idea to leave something behind and very symbolic for the word to burn with the log, I really like the idea of that. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas x

    • Saturday 23 December, 2017 at 1:18 am

      It works for us. Although I do need to remind the children each year about the “no name” rule.

  • Friday 22 December, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I do like the sound of the reward system….My girls are 10 & 15 and I totally get what you mean about the age gap & the ages they are.
    The Yule log is a fantastic idea too…I hadn’t heard of that idea before. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas x

    • Saturday 23 December, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Yes! There is the chasm between life at Primary and life at Secondary. Slightly glad I’m not alone.

  • Friday 22 December, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    I really like the yule log. Sounds like you have had a fun filled week. Merry Christmas to you and your family X #wotw

    • Saturday 23 December, 2017 at 1:21 am

      Not a bad week, although the dentist tends to put a damper on the week.

  • Friday 22 December, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    The reward system sounds great, sometimes my three seem to be on different planets even though the age gap is small. I love your Yule log tradition, what a great idea. Enjoy the rest of the holiday (mine only broke up from school today!) Merry Christmas x

    • Saturday 23 December, 2017 at 1:24 am

      The gap felt less when they were all at the same school. Winter Solstice is one of my favourite evenings of the year. Quiet time to reflect before the indulgence of the season starts. Hope you have a good holiday too.

  • Saturday 23 December, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Yule log idea would be amazing for me who is carrying so much on my shoulder. I need to do that I just dont know how hehe as I dont real fire here. But it sounds lovely to clear ones head. I love your photos too! So clear and colorful =) #wotw

    • Tuesday 26 December, 2017 at 11:52 am

      I think any symbolic way of letting something go would work. Could use the wind or water instead.

  • Sunday 24 December, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Glad to hear the reward system is working well. I love the idea of letting something go with the burning of the Yule log and that gentle reflection that goes with it. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. #WotW

    • Tuesday 26 December, 2017 at 11:50 am

      You too.

  • Monday 25 December, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Happy Christmas!

    • Tuesday 26 December, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Hope you had a wonderful time.

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