5 Easy Yule Decorations

Yule falls around December 20 - 22 in the northern hemisphere, and if you're below the equator, it's around June 20 - 22. This sabbat is typically known as a season of fire and light, of family and friends. It's the time to mark the longest night of the year, because at Yule, the sun begins its long journey back towards the earth, and the days begin to grow longer once more. If you'd like to bring a bit of the Yule spirit indoors, it's not hard to do - try one or all of these five simple decorations that won't cost you a fortune, and welcome the winter solstice season into your home!
 

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Candles and Lights

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Yule is a celebration of light, so why not bring the light back into your home during the season of the long nights? Candles galore can be placed on tabletops, hang strands of twinkly lights from your ceilings and walls, and if you've got access to a tabletop brazier, get a little blaze going! If you're lucky enough to have a sunny morning, pull the curtains open wide and let the natural light shine in.

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Since Yule is the longest night of the year, it's also the sabbat on which the sun begins making its return back to the earth. Hang suns and solar symbols all over your house. These don't have to be fancy - you can craft simple ones with yarn, fabric, chenille stems, or even paper. Scavenge the craft stores for metal sun ornaments, or if you're really ambitious, make a few sunwheels to hang around your house!

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Pine Cones, Greenery, and Wreaths

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Saturnalia, which fell in mid-December, was a time to honor the god Saturn, and so Roman homes and hearths were decorated with boughs of greenery – vines, ivy, and the like. The ancient Egyptians didn't have evergreen trees, but they had palms -- and the palm tree was the symbol of resurrection and rebirth. They often brought the fronds into their homes during the time of the winter solstice. The Celts and Nordic societies were big fans of mistletoe. Bring holly and ivy indoors, gather up pine cones and boughs, and enjoy not just the sight but the scents of greenery during Yule.

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Decorate a Yule log for your family's celebration. Image by Steve Gorton/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Nowadays, when we hear about the Yule log, most people think of a deliciously rich chocolate dessert. But the Yule log has its origins in the cold winters of Norway, on the night of the winter solstice, where it was common to hoist a giant log onto the hearth to celebrate the return of the sun each year. The Norsemen believed that the sun was a giant wheel of fire which rolled away from the earth, and then began rolling back again on the winter solstice. Make a Yule log to display in a place of honor in your home, before burning it on the eve of the sabbat.

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Fruits, Nuts, and Berries

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Winter is a time in which many of us stock up on fruits, nuts and berries. After all, for our ancestors, these were things which could be gathered in advance and preserved, to be set aside for the long winter. Depending on where you live, there are some fruits which become more readily available during the season of the winter solstice. Fill pretty bowls and baskets with clementines and oranges, pears and bright red apples, nuts and dried berries. Tie on a ribbon or some seasonal fabric, place them around your home, and you've got a seasonal decoration that you can snack on!