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Make It Your Rule - Hitch Up The Mule And Drag In The Yule!

So, think about the Yule Log tradition - make it your rule - hitch up the mule and drag in the yule!

We've mostly all heard of the Yule Log tradition.  But what is the tradition of the Yule Log anyway?

It's a tradition probably extending back before medieval times, and said to be Norse.

In Scandinavia and Northern Europe, YULE was/is the name given to Winter Solstice festivals.

Way back the tradition consisted of selecting a tree, tall and straight and true.  The whole family would go out the day before the day before the Winter Solstice (or in Christian homes on Christmas Eve Eve) and find the perfect candidate.

It would then be cut down, stripped of its limbs and measured and cut again into the perfect length.  The horse, or mule, or family would then drag it home!

A bit of the log from the previous year's Yule Log celebration had been saved and was placed in the fireplace.  Then the new log would be pulled into the house, doing no damage of course (wink), and the large end was pushed into the fireplace.  It was lifted up on a rack to be able to burn properly.

As last year's log remains were set underneath, it was lit to ignite the end of the new Yule Log.  And, as a bit of the new log would burn each day the remainder was slowly dragged into the fireplace.  The carefully measured and cut log would be long enough to last the Twelve Days of Christmas, with some left over to be used as kindling for the next year.  Imagine the living room!

Do you have the picture in your mind, with 18 or 20 feet of log sticking out into the room for twelve days!  I bet the room smelled great filled with smoke!  Where did they put the Christmas tree and all the presents?  How did they watch football?  Wow, the mind boggles...

In France they would sprinkle the log with wine to make it smell nice.

But there are other recipes too, for fun Yule Log burning.

Sprinkling the log with salt would create yellow flames.  And with borax soap bright-green flames would result.  Adding potassium nitrate resulted in violet flames, and copper sulfate burned blue.

So the log was not only traditional and festive, but colorful too!  Those same elements are used today in the cutsie fire logs people burn that create the different colors.

Of course, if you aren't so inclined to have a long log sticking out into your room, or if you don't have a wood-burning fireplace, you can always settle for the lesser tradition.

The dessert Yule Log!

Made from various rolled cakes and icings, sprinkled with nuts to create bark or decorated with marzipan mushrooms and holly leaves, many people have the annual Yule Log dessert!

So, pick your poison - the mule dragging the yule, or eating a traditional dessert, you can celebrate the wondrous Winter Solstice.  Or consider it a Christmas holiday activity!

Burn it or eat it!  You see, either way, everyone can be accommodated!

Make the Yule your Rule this holiday season! 

Personally I pause to consider and be thankful for the birth of my, and your, Savior.  And I celebrate a Merry Christmas.

But if you want to go the dessert route, I might join you in that too!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 26 commentsJay Markanich • December 18 2018 10:14AM

Comments

I love the post. I hope it will be featured. I learned a lot from the post.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) 4 months ago

Very interesting! I had no idea this is where the yule log tradition got started. 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 4 months ago

Good morning Jay. And you say no damage! What about the mess? Do you open a window when you have a fire? Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 4 months ago

Thank you Gita.  Glad you had a good time!

Kat - I am always researching!

Wayne - I can't imagine what the house looked and smelled like!  And why it didn't burn down!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

HI Jay, What an interesting tradition.  I always just thought the Yule Log was a dessert. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 4 months ago

I think chocolate would best be my Yule Log flavor...or mocha...or coconut...or raspberry..or ...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 4 months ago

Sherry - that's what happens to many historical things - they get changed because most of us think history began with us!

S&D - so, pick your poison!  All of those look and sound good.  Let me know when they are served, and, as I always say, if I'm in the area...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Nice.... Merry Christmas to you and your family Jay!!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) 4 months ago

Merry, merry to you and yours, Fred!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Sometimes you eat dessert first becasue it is your favorite part of the meal. I guess you saved the best for last.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 4 months ago

What a neat tradition that is.  On Thanksgiving, my family came home.  One of my daughters brough pinecones that were infused with cinnamon.  It made the house smell absolutely wonderful.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 4 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS Jay, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 4 months ago

Thanks Joe.  I've had many posts on Christmas!  This is just the latest!  But if you want, you may enjoy it for dessert!

Thanks Myrl.  Cinnamon is one of the scents I enjoy, along with vanilla.  Others I can take or leave.  And another feature!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Jay- and here I thought that a yule log was dessert!!! I loved your story and can't imagine having that big log burning for 12 days!!! How big was the house?  Did it bring in bugs???

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 4 months ago

It can be, Kathy.  Why don't you drag the dessert into the fireplace and set the end on fire?

And a log dragged into the house surely brought bugs with it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Good evening Jay Markanich ,

I'm so glad that Gita Bantwal re-blogged your post as I missed it. Loved your story I've never heard of this before. I like Kathy Streib thought it was a dessert!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 4 months ago

Jay not sure how I missed your post, you must have been blogging when I am not on.... now with that said glad that Gita Bantwal  reblogged it... and as I said on her reblog, I have eaten a lot of logs to the tune of some might think I ate a Forest:)Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 4 months ago

Dorie - I'm shocked you didn't see it the minute I posted it!  Kidding.  And Kathy is right - it's a dessert too.

That's okay, Endre, eat the whole forest!  There is a lot of tradition in the season that we do and not know why!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Good morning Jay.  I'm kind of glad they no longer practice this exact tradition.  I think we'd have a lot of homes burning down if they did.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 4 months ago

Gabe - I'm not sure why the fire didn't progress down the log and into the room!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

The scene of the traditional yule log you set is certainly not conjuring up anything I would consider desirable.  I'll go for the dessert.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) 4 months ago

You have to grab life, Chris Ann!  Grab it I tell you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Thank you very much, Jay, for the timely lessons.

Enjoy the holidays!

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 4 months ago

Same Roy.  Spectacular new year!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

Happy New Year, Jay! Have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. I'm all in for the dessert Yule log. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 4 months ago

Gracias, Mike.  Drag in the dessert!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 4 months ago

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