One of the things I realized early on in life was that if you want the holidays to be special then you have to make them special. Once I became a mother this became one of my sacred tasks. Every year I set out to make holiday magic for my kids, and in the process I find that magic anew for myself.
December is a busy month for most families, and mine is no different. However, what sets mine apart from most is the recognition of two special days: Yule and Christmas. They are not mutually exclusive to me, though I realize how adamantly some would disagree.
December means both. I cannot give up one for the other, and blessedly I have found a way to keep and celebrate both. This means my kids have an extra special holiday month, and I have an extra amount of holiday magic to make.
Most of the traditions that go with one work well with the other, which only makes sense if you know your history. So in my house, there is always a wreath on the door, a tree decorated with pure joy, candles everywhere, and a hearth filled with love to warm any and all holiday visitors. In my home we go seamlessly from one to the other as it is all part of our family tradition. My kids get two Yule logs, one to burn on winter solstice and one to eat on Christmas.
I won’t say that this happy holiday mix was easily developed. There were once debates, and hard questions to answer. Fortunately, these things were resolved before children entered the picture. My children have never known a time that this wasn’t the way we do things. My daughter is now old enough that she comes home with questions.
I don’t sweat these questions. I answer her honestly while keeping things in terms she can understand. She is in the first grade after all. We talk about the meaning behind the things we do, which center around the principles of love, honor and respect. These three principles exist in all traditions, and when applied to one’s daily living make for a more peaceful existence in a world full of wondrous diversity.
That is the true holiday magic I make for my children. I show them how peaceful coexistence is possible. I demonstrate love, honor and respect. I embrace the differences, and in so doing, I emphasis the similarities. It is the greatest gift I can give to my children.