Celebration doesn’t begin and end with December 25th. The traditional Twelve Days of Christmas all have their meanings. You can vary your festivities using these ideas and if you have to work over Christmas it’s interesting to know that other days you’re on holiday have their special themes that you can play with.
In ancient times the Mother Goddess gave birth to the sun and was devotedly worshipped. Father Christmas wasn’t always male – there are legends about goddesses travelling around leaving gifts. Today thank the earth for her bounty, place a plant in the centre of your table and light a gold candle with the words ‘We honour the Earth and give thanks for the blessing of food’
Commemorates the slaughter of children by jealous Herod. Turning this to the positive, it’s a day to celebrate childhood and free your inner child. Do at least one childlike act and make sure you giggle.
Carry on giggling today. The Fool tradition is psychologically healthy, liberating parts that we suppress. Tell jokes, lark about and see the funny side in all you can.
In the halls of the great the boar’s head was brought into with pomp and ceremony. The head of such a powerful animal could transfer strength to the revelers. Thank goodness you don’t need the head of a real animal. Make your own ‘Boar’s head’ with bristling cocktail sticks, spiking tasty treats, arranged on a melon, or other rounded fruit. As you eat, remind yourself of all you are good at. At a party it can be uplifting for each person to tell another one thing they know they are good at.
Review the past twelve months and make plans for the next. Just before midnight it’s time for ‘First footing’ – an old custom for luck. Turn out all lights except for one candle. Send the darkest-haired person outside with a lantern. At the stroke of twelve they should knock on the door, and be welcomed in, saying the words ‘I bring good fortune’ and re-light candles from their lantern.
Take part in wassailing - this means waking up the apple trees, so they fruit abundantly. Look on-line and find a local group of Mummers or Morris Men that you can support. Dance round any tree and give the roots an offering of local brew chanting ‘Bud well, bear well.’ Then get warm with a brew yourself.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to have snow to make a snowman or play snowballs! Snow is real midwinter magic. Look for shapes in frost and ice and if there is neither, gaze deep into a clear crystal. Can you see what the year ahead will bring?
The Christmas tree is evergreen – this reminds us that life always goes on, even through the depths of winter darkness. Holly is evergreen too. Circle a green candle with holly leaves. Light the candle, write any illness or problem you want to be rid of on a slip of paper and carefully burn it in the flame.
In olden times this was the day to return to normal activity, spinning and weaving. You don’t have to work if it’s your day off. Make a list of three definite things you want to complete over the coming year, tie it in a scroll with red thread and keep it safe.
The Three Kings journeyed to find the Holy Child, bearing gifts. Pledge three gifts for yourself, for a friend and for the wider community. Let your journey over the coming year bring you more of what you need.
It’s the day to take down decorations for another year. Have you enjoyed your Christmas? What would have made it better for you? What was wonderful about it? Make a note of these important thoughts and place the note with your decorations. Next Christmas read them over at the start of December and apply the ideas.
Now you have some inspiration for each of the Twelve Days hopefully your Christmas will be fun, whatever your routine. If you need more cheering up, our positive Readers are waiting for your call, with a sleigh-load of helpful advice, so phone without delay and be jolly!
PUBLISHED: 15 December 2017