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What To Do With The Christmas Tree After Christmas?

What To do With The Christmas Tree After Christmas?

By, Kevin Cutlip

What to do?  As we assemble all of the Christmas and Holiday decor, send cards, gifts and prepare meals, there is one more chore – looking out for that noble icon that stands watch over our traditions. It’s the immediate gathering place, as visitors and kin arrive, with “Oooh’s and Aaah’s”. The early morning gathering place on Christmas morning filled with the glee and new exchanges awaited by our children and loved ones. The magic of a simple thing, found on a lot, or in the woods… Yes, it’s the Christmas Tree, decorated in its finest, with years gone by, old and new ornaments, saved and reassembled broken trinkets and some trains below, chugging around in wispy smokey dreams.  Atop is the star or angel, watching over our Christmas spirit, and for most, ushering in the new year and new hopes as well.

So, how do we remember the past years trials, successes, drama, accomplishments, and even failures we overcame? How do we hope to put away, later, the new memories and details of life? It’s the simple matter of remembering part of this wonderful living thing we adorned ever so carefully for family and friends. Yes, I am writing about your own Yule Log tradition.

Centuries ago, the Yule Log was a revered tradition in Nordic homes. It has lost a lot in the years, so let’s explore how to keep a tradition alive.

Most of the lore you find is about a carefully selected tree and the burning of it in the home or open fire on “Yuletide”, or the first days of Winter. In some traditions, the tree was brought into the home and the trunk was inserted into the fireplace and fed in as it burned, throughout the next few days. Others, burned last years Christmas Tree on that day. Still others burned on Christmas Eve.

How can we continue, or start, a “Yule Log” tradition these days? Simply by either cutting off a piece of the trunk or saving the end cut until next year. Having the piece from that memory and ceremoniously burning it in a family gathering can be a favorite event for years to come. So, as you get ready to dispose of that great decorated memory, save a piece for next Christmas, or Yuletide.

The Wheel has turned once more, and
the earth has gone to sleep.
The leaves are gone, the crops have returned to the ground.
On this darkest of nights, we celebrate the light.
Tomorrow, the sun will return,
its journey continuing as it always does.
Welcome back, warmth.
Welcome back, light.
Welcome back, life.

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!

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