“Yule was the traditional name for the celebrations around the 25th; the festival lasted for twelve days, which are now the twelve days of Christmas. The origin of the word Yule seems to originate from the Anglo Saxon word for sun and light, most likely regarding the rebirth of the sun from the shortest day. In many places fires or candles were kindled to burn through the twelve days that marked the festivities. Another fire tradition was that of the Yule log, lit from the remains of last year’s log at sunset on the 25th of December. The Yule log was often of Oak or Ash, and the burned remains of it were thought to guard a home against fire and lightning. The ashes were also sprinkled on the surrounding fields to ensure good luck for the coming year’s harvest. The largest remaining part of the log was kept safe to kindle next year’s fire.
To our ancestors the shortest day (21st December) marked the lowest ebb of the year, but it also marked the day when the sun was reborn, gradually growing in strength to the Midsummer Solstice. Many ancient standing stones, stone circles and other monuments are aligned with the winter sunrise on the 21st of December; the most famous being Newgrange in Ireland, where a finger of sunlight shines along the dark entrance through a narrow aperture above the monument’s entrance. Other sites are correspondingly aligned to the Midsummer sunrise, highlighting the importance placed on these two dates.” Daniel Parkinson
However you celebrate this time of year remember the Joy associated with the coming of the Light. Also celebrate the many accomplishments that have brought you to this point. Making it through the darkness is Joyous indeed!