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Merry Christmas, Here Have a Yule Log

Today I was talking with somebody and happened to mention the words “yule log.” I believe the context was, “if he does that again, I’m going to bludgeon him with a yule log.” I was hoping that this verbiage would convey my anger and resentment, instead it spurned responses of outright laughter and traditional sayings like, “now this I gotta see….” Which lead a few of us to speculate on what exactly a yule log is. I guess I’ve always thought of a yule log as something Rudolph may leave on your roof, even though most think of it as some kind of a pastry or such.

The origin of the word (what would we do without google?) comes from the Scandanavian. The story goes that the natives would burn a giant log in an attempt to appease the great God of the sun, Thor (I am, in fact, NOT making this up.) The giant log was called a Yule Log and the time of year at which they burned this great beast was referred to as yuletime, which is today what we refer to as Christmas or the greatest shopping travesty that ever was invented. (Google it if you don’t believe me. )

Granted, I am by far not an expert on all things Scandi (having thought Danish too was indeed a pastry) but this little tale has me wondering. If the great and ever so pissed-off Thor really did exist, did your ancestors really believe that burning a gigantic log would appease him? In case you’re wondering, my ancenstors were busy being decadent in the South of Europe and were far too busy being non-Hungarians to worry about the Scandi’s. (They had wine to drink so the only great Scandi’s they knew were giant pink elephants who came from the north on special occassions.)

And I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to the great Thor? Was he, in fact, the 9th reindeer? Come to think of it, this would explain a lot of yule logs. But don’t worry. Our ancestors will be too confused wondering who the great God “goole” was to worry about all the extra yule logs we found on the roof.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in “Carol’s Little World” signing off.


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