I just received a lovely note from a circle in California. They read an old article titled Mother Wit for Yule and changed their traditions as a result. They say they now enjoy the holiday more:
"Thank you so much for the article. After reading it last year, we discussed these ideas, and changed the way we do things here for Solstice in our women's circle.....we simplified our gift giving, focused on our priorities (friends, family and loved ones) and considered Mamma Gaia, those in need and our role as priestesses. As a result, our preperations for the holidays were a lot less stressful and a lot more fun, and much, much more meaningful. We also took a vote, and as Pagan group we bought a cow (!) this year via Heifer International and donated it to a needy family in honor of the Goddess. (1) We also cleaned out our closets and donated clothes and blankets to a women's shelter and brought along some new toys for the children there.....We wish you a Merry Yule & Happy Holidays."
That made my day.
They in turn, have inspired us to take part in the fundraising campaign for Heifer International. Can you help? $5.00 would make a huge difference to a needy family.
Earthwise Campaign Page for Heifer International
(The donation page is run by this well known non-profit and it is secure. 100% of all funds raised goes to H.I. You can donate at our page at their website, or go directly to their main site.)
Heifer International will use our donations to provide livestock and training to families around the world helping them feed themselves and earn money by selling milk, eggs, and wool. In return, these families promise that they will give the offspring from their animals to other families in their community. It's a path out of hunger and poverty, and it begins with us.
Blessed Solstice to you all & Happy Holidays,
Sia & the folks at Full Circle
(1) They choose one of my favorite charities. My partner and I just donated a goat.
Note: I would gladly give this women's group public credit for this, but they wish to remain annonymous.
Illustration: This is a small copy of piece by Yvonne Gilbert, a well known painter and illustrator of children's books including Per and the Dala Horse by Rebecca Hickox, A Christmas Star Called Hannah by Vivian French, Tutankhamun: The Life and Death of a Pharaoh by David Murdoch and The Dictionary of Fairies and Iron Wolf, both by Richard Adams. Ms. Gilbert lives and works in England. This image comes from one of her annual holiday cards. More of her images can be seen at her homepage.