Preparing for Yule

It took a move to a different country to revive my interest in the mid winter festival that is Yule.  Here in the Spanish countryside we seem to be able to avoid the crazy shop-fest that typifies a UK Christmas.  Yes there are adverts on Spanish tv for all sorts of things that you might buy at this time of year (perfumes for him and her etc) but in a foreign language they are easily ignored, don't seem to appeal in quite the same way.

its very green here with not very traditional weather (thank goodness).

It's just about a week away to the big day and we have just now started preparing for our own festivities.  90% of our gifts were home made this year (aiming for the whole 100% next year) and they were completed by the end of November and then posted to their destinations in plenty of time for me not to worry about the manic UK postal system.  This is the first Christmas in nearly 30 years of marriage that Steve and I will spend on our own.  What will we do?  What do you do for a low key celebration that isn't going to feel like a let down? Christmas is just another day.  Its a feast day, a festival and if you believe in that sort of stuff its a celebration of the birth of Christ.  Why does that mean you have to be with family, with a huge meal, with tons of gifts under a tree full of fancy decorations and lights?  The 'ideal' Christmas that you see depicted in so many awful American movies is a Victorian invention that the older generation at the time thought extravagant and 'missing the point of Christmas', sound familiar?

 We thought we would start with trying to reconnect with the real meaning of a mid winter feast day.  We are not exactly Christians and we don't find anything of relevance to us in celebrating the birth of Christ.  But we are farmers and because of working with the land, our olives and figs and the chickens and the geese, we feel a real connection to the seasons, to the weather, to the dark days of winter.

It's a perfect time to have a celebration.  A celebration of thankfulness for the harvest, for our continuing good health, for our good fortune in being here.  And also a time of hope, of thinking about the New Year to come and the excitement of what that could bring.  The days will be starting to lengthen again and with it the promise of spring - not quite here, but just around the corner.  The storks are already returning to take up residence in last year's nests (first come first served no doubt) and we had one of our Castilian black hens turn broody... 'not yet' we told her while fighting to get the eggs out from under.

Our goose cull is on Saturday and this is the first day of celebrating mid winter for us.  Friends are invited to come and help and for their efforts they will go away with an oven ready goose.  Steve and I went searching in the woods for pine cones to make decorations and then discovered that the fir hedge at the local swimming pool had been pruned and all the clippings just left in a pile ready for the taking.

That will make a perfect wreath for the door and table decoration for the main event. I am so looking forward to making this festive season special in our own way.   Next post The Goose Cull.


  1. Sounds wonderful. Real reasons to celebrate and Real Food.


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