It has been around for close to 400 years and dates back to Holland. Children would place small straw and food filled wooden shoes next to the hearth for Santa Claus' reindeer. In exchange, Santa Claus would leave a small gift or treat in return. This custom found its way into homes all over Europe.
Until recently it was tradition to put small treats like nuts, fruit or candy into the stocking. Now days, while some still hold onto that tradition, more expensive gifts and perhaps a little less candy is given. No matter how you fill your stockings it is a loved and memory-filled tradition, waking up in the morning to a stuffed stocking!
So as you can see, while many of the traditions of Yule are still practiced much the same as it was once done, a plethora of traditions that have found its way into this bright and cheery holiday. And as a result, whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, or simply the arrival of Santa Claus, Yule is a holiday with customs that can be adapted by all faiths, offering us all an important reminder and cause of celebration as the darkness subsides and the days once again begin to lengthen in both light and hope for the coming year. Happy Yule to you all!
Julia O'Farrell is a licensed massage therapist and she is the mom of five magical little men, a fairy princess and wife to Jeremy.
Copyright © Julia O'Farrell. Publishing right retained by Pregnancy.org.