Editress Ginger Strivelli Hope everyone had a blessed yuletide season and the Holly king brought you just what you wished for! Also hope y'all educated a few of the muggles out there about the YULE tree and YULE gifts and YULE feast, and The Holly king (AKA Santa Claus. ) ....Not to mention the Saturnalia, and Natalis Sol Invictus. Too many people do not know the Pagan roots of 'Xmas.' For there education: FROM OUR BOOK OF SHADOWS: Yuletide's Pagan history The Roman Emperor Aurelian, in the 2nd century CE declared Dec 25th as “Natalis Sol Invictus” or Birth of the Invincible Sun. That was the origin of the Dec. 25th date being celebrated the Christians turned it into the birth of the sOn but they hijacked it s they often did saints (i.e. Brighid, Nicholas.. who were also really Pagan Gods.) Saturnalia- was the Roman feast week (ending on Winter Solstice) of the God Saturn. Schools were out for 'break' during this time...Gifts were given...families and friends gathered at parties and feasts. Evergreens were Yuletide symbols in even earlier times in Europe, as they were the only trees that didn't 'die' each winter, but stayed green promising that the others would be reborn green again in the spring. Evergreens were decorated with fruit and nuts and other harvest items to use symbolic magic to bring about those items being again grown on the other trees being 'reborn' in the coming year. It was a simple abundance fertility spell to deck the halls. Mistletoe was sacred as a fertility charm, and a charm of peace..fighting in the presence of ti was against the law... and a symbol of immortality. Druid priests cut mistletoe from holly trees with a gold sickle, never letting it touch the ground as it was harvested during the week after the Winter Solstice new moon each December. The Holly king (along with his Light half of the year counterpart the Oak-king) was the king of the dark half of the year ending on Winter Solstice. He was the origin of the Old Man Winter, Jack Frost, Father time (Cronos-the Greek God of time) and Santa Claus archetype long before modern Christians based their gift-bring upon Him and other Pagan Gift bringers of Winter solstice like the only female of the archetype La Belfona the Italian Gift bringing Witch of Winter, who likely developed form the Roman Goddess, Strina. Winter Solstice of course being one of the solar calendar quarter days was celebrated by all ancient Pagans all over the earth for hundreds of thousands of years, even before and more far-flung than the Romans and Celtics of Europe. From the Aztecs, and Mayans and Hawaiians to the Egyptians, and Hindu, and Aboriginal Australians....most tribal people of the ancient world celebrated the solar calendar and it's holidays.