Just because you’re not celebrating the Christian holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have a holiday tree – lots of Pagans do, and it’s perfectly fine if you want to. However, one thing you may notice is that many seasonal ornaments are rooted in the traditions of Christianity – angels, baby Jesus, wise men, that sort of thing. If you follow a nature-based religious system, there’s no reason you can’t have things on your tree that celebrate your own beliefs as well. Here are ten great ideas for things to hang on your holiday tree – whatever you decide to call it.
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If you're hanging up ornaments for Yule, why not make some of them magical? Use basic craft supplies to create a magical spell ornament for your Yule tree. You can create one for just about any magical purpose - consider making one for each family member, to bring blessings and abundance to you all year long.
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This herbal sachet is simple to make, and combines some of the most delightful scents of the Yule season. Make small Yule sachets to hang on a tree, or make a bunch to give away as gifts for friends and family.
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Use chenille stems in your favorite color to create one of these. They're easy, and your kids can do it once you show them how to bend the stems. Make them in different colors and sizes, and cover your tree in them.
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Salt dough is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and you can create just about anything from it. Use it with cookie cutters to make your own Sabbat ornaments. Create magical shapes, human figures, or symbols of the season like trees, suns, and stars.
Image (c) Patti Wigington 2012; Licensed to About.com
The winter solstice is all about the return of the sun, so why not decorate your holiday tree with solar symbols? Kids can make simple paper ones out of colored paper plates and construction paper, or you can buy wooden discs from the local craft store and paint them bright yellows and oranges. You can even make them with salt dough or modeling clay!
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Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there's Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light -- candles, bonfires, and lights around your house.
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Who hangs magical tools on their tree? Anyone who wants to, that's who! Decorate your tree with Tarot cards strung on ribbons, herb bundles, crystals on a string, bells, even magical poppets!
8. Fertility Symbols
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Although most Neopagans today don't associate Yule with fertility, in early pre-Christian societies there was definitely a fertility connection at the winter solstice. Fertility rites were performed underneath mistletoe
, and the idea of wassailing
actually came from a pre-Christian European practice. Hang things like antlers, cups, and eggs on your tree if you're feeling a need for fertility symbolism, or pay tribute to the fertility deities
who normally don't get honored until Beltane.
Image © Patti Wigington 2009
God's eyes are one of the easiest crafts you can make, and they're versatile because you can create them in any color. At Yule, you can make them in reds, golds, whites and greens
. Try using cinnamon sticks instead of craft sticks, to bring the scent of the season into your home.
10. Natural Items
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Natural items make a great decoration for a tree - go out in the woods on a crisp winter day, and gather things like twigs, feathers, pine cones, acorns, bark, berries, and other found items to hang on your tree. Use the extras to make a tree topper out of nature's gifts.