The Winter Solstice, Yule and Christmas

I can't help it, I'm like a little kid. I love the coming winter season so much, with all the lights and songs and MUFFINS! I enjoy the days before and after the winter solstice, but I do it on my own terms.
As you probably know, many Witches celebrate Yule on December 21st. In the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic traditions, they usually name this date Yule or Yuletide, but I actually enjoy the simplicity of calling it "the winter solstice". I'm boring like that.
The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. We can find quite a few holidays which are celebrated around the same date, such as Christmas or the Roman Saturnalia. I was brought up with Christmas, and this holidays is still deeply ingrained in my memories and probably in my actions. I actually love the concept of Christmas, but I simply can't stand how consumer-oriented this holiday has become. I like the lights, I like the singing, I like the gathering. And, guess what? Witches do it all the same. Christmas trees started as a Pagan tradition many centuries ago, although nowadays have become a very well-known sign of Western Christmas. I love my "winter tree" just the same!

Witches celebrate the longest night of the year with candles and lights, which make darkness shorter and brighter and help call back the spring. I really enjoy preparing warm, rich food, specially baked goods typical of the colder months. In the coming days I will show you a few recipes so that you can get ready for Yule (or the solstice. Or the holidays. I'm not one to put many labels to things. It's food what counts in the end, isn't it?).
And if you want to learn more about Witch's holidays, you will for sure find out many interesting things in my book, The Solitary Witch's Green Book.
Thank you for reading my blog and see you soon again!