Whilst Christmas is still four days away (how quickly it's come around!), for me, my religious holiday is right now, this day. Today is Yule, or the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and for me, a time of celebration. Paganism has a slightly different idea about religious holidays, mainly that I celebrate eight holidays, which we call sabbats. December signifies the end of the year for most, and though it makes my life a hell of a lot simpler to follow the Gregorian calendar, in Wicca and Paganism, Yule is the second holiday of the new year, Samhain (or Halloween) being our New Year celebration. It took me a while to get into the swing of such a thing, but after four years as a Pagan (if you didn't know this about me, pay more attention!) I've gotten used to it. Others have not, but that's to be expected.
Traditionally, Yule was the holiday we had saved up all of our harvest food. It's much more different, even though we grow fruit, herbs and vegetables in our garden, it's still easy to pop five minutes down the shop for food. And celebration or not, I don't need an excuse to eat excessively! There are still some traditions of Yule that I've kept in my life, however. Dough cookies hang from my tree (fun fact: "Christmas" trees are Pagan, adopted from Germanic Paganism and popularised by Queen Victoria in England) and at the top is a woven pentagram (rather than the star of Nazareth.) It's nearly a good thing that I don't like Christmas pudding, because I get to eat Yule log (wow, I'm so religious.)
As with every sabbat, I take time to reflect, and after spending time at university, there's a lot to reflect on. Mainly, it's with pride that I reflect, alongside a great sense of tiredness. I can't tell if it's sad or a sign of growing up that I feel disconnection when I'm at home with family and friends. Sometimes I feel as if it's like old times and I've been away for just a day, other times I don't recognise some places or can't get into rhythm with an old routine. To be expected, I suppose. I miss my flatmates: I've spent every day with the same people for 10 weeks, and suddenly that's changed and they're scattered all over the country as if university hasn't happened. Bless Snapchat that we can still make each other laugh with our beautiful faces.
Anyway, that's it for now. I wish everybody either a merry Christmas, a happy Yule, or any equivalent holiday! Blessed be, b*tches.