Digging the Yule tree is one of my favorite holiday traditions. We always have a live 'potted' tree that we replant after the new year. Some trees we are able to dig up year after year until they get too big to dig. Bringing them in the house to decorate is like welcoming back an old friend that only visits once a year.
The year that we dug last year, has been struggling to take root. It's still alive, but struggling a bit and i think if we had redug it it would probably die. So we chose to dig a new tree this year.
We headed over to Deberosa Tree farm, where all the trees were $10 each and they allowed us to dig one. Most of the trees were very large, and we wandered around for quite a while before deciding on our perfect tree.
All over the tree farm we found praying mantis egg cases. Some had already hatched out, but many were new and would not hatch until the spring. Although with our unseasonable warm winter, i wouldn't be surprised if they hatch early. This little case can contain hundreds of baby praying mantis that all hatch out at once.
We were very happy with our tree, loaded it up and headed home.
The kids did all the decorating this year. i never did get around to making any gingerbread ornaments, so it looked a little bare this year.
No one seemed to mind though, and we all thought it looked beautiful. Our decorations are all pretty simple. Glass balls in blue and silver, handblown glass icicles,pine cones decoratd in glitter, acorn shaded bells, and silver butterflies. i also added some dried citrus slices and typically decorate it in gingerbread as well.
Yule trees are brought inside to provide a warm and festive place for tree elementals who inhabited the woodland. They are also a good way to coax the native faery folk to participate in Solstice rituals. :) The greenery of the yule tree is symbolic of the hope for the sun's return.
i embrace these traditons and rituals as a way to stay positive during the hard of winter. Celebrating the season, gives us hope and helps us to recognize the beauty in all seasons.