So, think about the Yule Log tradition - is it your rule to hook up a mule to drag in the Yule Log?
We've mostly all heard of the Yule Log tradition. But what is the tradition of the Yule Log anyway?
It's a tradition probably extending back before medieval times, and said to be Norse.
In Scandinavia and Northern Europe, YULE was/is the name given to Winter Solstice festivals.
Way back the tradition consisted of selecting a tree, tall and straight and true. The whole family would go out the day before the day before the Winter Solstice (or in Christian homes on Christmas Eve Eve) and find the perfect candidate.
It would then be cut down, stripped of its limbs and measured and cut again into the perfect length. The horse, or mule, or family would then drag it home!
A bit of the log from the previous year's Yule Log celebration had been saved and was placed in the fireplace. Then the new log would be pulled into the house, doing no damage of course (wink), and the large end was pushed into the fireplace. It was lifted up on a rack to be able to burn properly.
As last year's log remains were set underneath, it was lit to ignite the end of the new Yule Log. And, as a bit of the new log would burn each day the remainder was slowly dragged into the fireplace. The carefully measured and cut log would be long enough to last the Twelve Days of Christmas, with some left over to be used as kindling for the next year. Imagine the living room!
Do you have the picture in your mind, with 18 or 20 feet of log sticking out into the room for twelve days! Where did they put the Christmas tree and all the presents? How did they watch football? Wow, the mind boggles...
In France they would sprinkle the log with wine to make it smell nice.
But there are other recipes too, for fun Yule Log burning.
Sprinkling the log with salt would create yellow flames. And with borax soap bright-green flames would result. Adding potassium nitrate resulted in violet flames, and copper sulphate burned blue.
So the log was not only traditional and festive, but colorful too! Those same elements are used today in the cutsie fire logs people burn that create the different colors.
Of course, if you aren't so inclined to have a long log sticking out into your room, or if you don't have a wood-burning fireplace, you can always settle for the lesser tradition.
The dessert Yule Log!
Made from various rolled cakes and icings, sprinkled with nuts to create bark or decorated with marzipan mushrooms and holly leaves, many people have the annual Yule Log dessert!
So, pick your poison - the mule dragging the yule, or eating a traditional dessert, you can celebrate the wondrous Winter Solstice. Or consider it a Christmas holiday activity!
Burn it or eat it! You see, either way, everyone can be accommodated!
Make the Yule your Rule this holiday season!
Personally I pause to consider and be thankful for the birth of my, and your, Savior. And I celebrate a Merry Christmas.
But if you want to go the dessert route, I might join you in that too!