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Wishing you a Merry Mix Up...

Confession of the day...this witch loves the festive season...A LOT... That magical excitement you used to get about Christmas as a child? I never lost it...

I must admit I struggled when I first came to the witchcraft pathway, avoiding any cards with Happy Christmas slogans and not hanging up anything that wasn't vaguely pagan...but years later I don't worry about it. As soon as Samhain is done and dusted I get out the festive tunes...and Xmas 24 channel has been recording since 1st November. My yule shopping is done and wrapped and our decorations will be going up in a few days, you might think that is early but we take them all down on 26th December so actually they are only up for 3 to 4 weeks. I actually prefer the build up to the big day rather than afterwards, once the 25th December is out of the way it all seems a bit like a damp squib so we prefer to clear away the decorations on the 26th and have a good ole clear out. I love the films, the music, the excitement, the wrapping, the card writing and the decorations oh and the food obviously - that anticipation and positive energy that builds up in the weeks and days beforehand to me is incredibly magical. I listen to pagan solstice tunes but I also love the cheesy 70s and 80s pop Christmas songs, gospel singing and carols too, my playlist is a total mix up. I am the only pagan in my family so I do a special dinner on the winter solstice and work some magic but the big celebration is on the 25th when my whole family gets together. It isn't about presents, the solstice, a sacred star, wise men or baby Jesub... it is about family spending time together. I was in the city centre a few days ago (drinking my gingerbread latte obviously) and the decorations were all up along with the Christmas market they have in the high street. They had a lovely nativity scene in the centre which I was very pleased about - yes it is probably a weird thing for a pagan to say but there is so much 'sensitivity' about not upsetting other religions that I was happy to see it there as a symbol of why Christians celebrate on the 25th December but along side it was a huge green fir tree covered in simple but beautiful white lights...a pagan symbol for the winter solstice. If you think about it all the symbols of the festive season are jumbled up, greenery being brought inside, mistletoe, holly, candles and even the jolly ole fat bloke in a red suit is a mish mash of traditions and myths - he might be Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Odin or my preferred option...the Hogfather - but it doesn't matter to me, what does matter is that he is a symbol of hope, joy and happiness. I agree that the season does seem to be taken over with commercialism but only if you let it affect you. Also at the end of the day this is probably the busiest time for shops and all shops employ staff and all shops need to make money to pay the staff so that the staff can feed and clothe their families. If it worries you about the big stores then buy locally and buy hand made...simples... So I will be decking my halls with boughs of holly..fa la la la la...and trimming my tree...and yes I also love roasted chestnuts...and I will do it earlier than some but hey it's my call to make, my life, my house, my choice to make...and I shall do it with love in my heart and singing badly and out of tune to cheesy songs of the season... Ho Ho Ho...Merry Christmas, Yuletide Greetings, Happy Hogswatch and whilst we are at it Happy Hanukkah...

Image - Hogfather, Josh Kirby


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