The Yule Log is one of the oldest Christmas celebration traditions. The celebration involves burning a large log which symbolizes the beginning of longer days. In ancient cultures longer days were vital to the growth of crops and thus survival.
The tradition has been commonly attributed to the Celts; however, many cultures celebrate this tradition. In England, the tradition is to burn the log for the twelve days of Christmas. In nineteenth century America, slaves were not required to work as long as the Yule Log burned. Today, many people still want to observe this ancient and comforting tradition.
Traditional Yule Log
To celebrate in a truly traditional fashion, search for a log, trim it, bring it to your home and burn it outdoors. In many cultures the choice of wood for your Yule Log is a symbol of some of the traits you hope to bring to your home. For instance oak is often associated with strength and pine with prosperity.
What’s that? The neighbors would call the fire department. Oh, then burn your log in the fireplace. Traditionally, the log is decorated with holly, ribbon and other ornaments of the season. If you have access and ability to create your own traditional Yule Log, it is a wonderful family project which can involve the kids and build lasting family memories of the holidays.
Yule Logs for the Rest of Us
Most of us do not live in homes with fireplaces or with backyards which would allow us to burn a log. Many of us live in apartments. Burning a log on the balcony, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is likely to incite rightful hostility from the management and your neighbors not to mention the fire department when they have to come and put out the resulting blaze. Do not fret, there are still options. You can even still make your own Yule Log.
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I Can’t Craft a Yule Log!
Let’s face it. Some of us should simply never touch a glue gun. The resulting burns are rarely worth the finished, somewhat pathetic final product. Fortunately there are options for those of us who are craft challenged. You can buy a Yule Log and even have it shipped to you, for a more apartment-friendly version that has an added bonus of sparing yourself the hot glue burns.