Each Yule I try and pick out one small item, usually a decor item that I can add to my collection. I visited 2 local craft fairs this year that were held at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre. One was put on by the Danish community and the other by the Swedish community. I had so much fun at both and found some wonderful deals and I found my Yule gift to me.
Here he is: The Yule Goat.
I saw these lovely wheat woven goats flanking the huge fireplace in the Centre and just loved them. I came across a lady who makes them as well as other lovely little ornaments in red thread and Swedish wheat. The Yule Goat is on of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Christmas symbols and traditions. A goat was slaughtered at Yule and this little guy represents that but has came to be associated with singing carols door-to-door and as the giver of Christmas gifts. The Norse God Thor's chariot was drawn by two goats which could attribute to why a goat was given this significance.
In Sweden the Yule Sacrifice was dramatized by a man dressed as the goat being slaughtered by a group of men and then resurrecting. It is amazing how the sacrifice and rebirth theme permeates customs at this time of year. The cycle continues.
So even though I'm not decorating full force this year because we are leaving soon, I have my Yule Goat on my little kitchen altar to preside over our travel preparations.
And the other little gift I got for myself was these white-tailed deer antler buttons. The gentleman that made these had beautiful rune engravings on rune sets, charms, and necklaces. I would have bought much more but used my utmost restraint since it was not time for me to overindulge. He told me that he makes his rune sets in sacred space in the Viking tradition and well, I just may have to get me a set one day. These buttons do not have a specific purpose yet but they contain so much magic to me that right now I want to just admire them as they are.
I hope you all get yourselves just a little something this year to make your season bright and magical as well.