Such a strong holiday in our culture. I'm glad that I have this time to figure out the parts I believe, the parts I'd like to celebrate, and how to pull the two together in a way that educates us and our kids without confusion, while at the same time allowing us to create our own family tradition.
Since we traveled to SC this weekend, there was no time to celebrate Yule in the pagan sense. Saturday night his folks went to a party and we kids hung out (we kids being 20-something Ashley, 30-something Allan and Kara, their 17-month-old Kylie, and Les and I), and since we only visit about 4 times a year, it's not like I would've wanted to drag the ole cauldron and candles up there...it was good to spend time with them. They all know I'm a witch and accept it fine, but sometimes there are more important or appropriate things than making sure a ritual is done when the moon's in conjunction with whatever. I don't think that makes me a fair-weather witch...I honor my faith and beliefs year-round in my life actions. On the flip side, I considered myself a Christian when the only effort I was making at church was Christmas and Easter. Faith is a heck of a lot more than how you act on December 25th.
It was a hard weekend, but a good visit. The cleaning lady came Sunday while it was raining, so there were some times there where it just felt like there were way too many people in the house and no easy means of escape. But Mom J and I bonded over cookie dough, Dad J. was all lit up over his new job, a lateral move within the SC State Department of HHS, writing and approving grants; Kara remained civil most of the time, and the baby was once again a wonderful education to look after. Feeding that age while they're teething is an exercise in patience, and it reminded me of how I used to feed Meara (holding both her hands at the wrists with my left hand while I shoveled it in with my right)...knew that wouldn't fly with Kylie though, she's a very willful critter, and I'm not enough of a fixture in her life for that kind of change to be acceptable (read: she'd have freaked and let me know it). Being raised by 4 people instead of 2 is making her quite clingy right now...you'd think that that would give her more stability, but the people who should be her center points aren't doing their jobs well at all, so she's left at loose ends as to who to turn to at times. Les and I both wish we could do more, while at the same time experience relief that we're removed from the situation by distance.
I'm glad to be home, there's presents under the tree, money in our pockets, and the promise of a nice time tomorrow with Mom, Cyril, and Meara. My knee's still not great, but I can't do anything about that until at least Wednesday, so nothing to do but press on. I'm stuck at work til 8ish, so the husby's making dinner and we'll relax tonight. I'm feeling lucky and happy.