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Monday, November 30, 2015

A Piece of Wood (Making Yuletide Memories)




As a young boy in late October, my uncles managed to haul out of somewhere a huge log.  Then they would cut it into pieces.  Being the  inquisitive lad, I asked as to why the cutting into pieces.  The answer came; it was simple, "We can't burn it all at the same time, that's why."  This was the family's Yule Log and it had to be burnt in pieces (there was no facility to burn the whole log at one time, so it happened as a cut piece at a time with a partially burnt piece to start the next).  This was a tradition that the family brought with them from "the old country."  And at the end of Yule, everyone was given a burnt piece.  It is my personal misfortune that I have lost my pieces given to me from so long ago.  But tradition and folkway can still carry on.  

Depending on your personal circumstances, a Yule Log tradition for your family can be done. Whether you have a huge fireplace, a fire-pit, or a simple BBQ grill, you can burn a log.  You have the option; burn one every day for the twelve days or just one, it's up to you.  What is important is the giving of a small piece of the charcoaled wood to family members, especially the kids.  Have them keep that chard wood in a cigar box, freezer bag, etc.  Every piece adds to tradition and our ancient culture.  It's the stuff from where stories are born and how culture continues.  

Note:  This writer will not debate anyone at anytime Christmas vs. Yule/ Yule vs. Christmas.  Long ago it was found that Yule predates the creation of Christmas by many centuries.  For those that have doubts, Professor Google and University Libraries have the data that supports this.  

                                             Copyright @ 2015/2016 Terry Unger     

     

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