‘Twas the night before Yule, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that the Yule Faeries soon would be there;
The children weren’t nestled all snug in their beds,
They were dancing ’round a bonfire, instead.
With Mama and her drum, and the stars shining bright,
As we settled in to celebrate the longest of nights —
When up near the house there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the circle to see what was the matter.
Away up the path, I flew like a flash,
Peeked in through the windows, and took a great gasp.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But eight tiny fairies, with wings so perfectly clear!
They carried presents much bigger than they–
I knew it was magic they brought on this day.
Everything they touched glinted and glowed
As they laid out each gift in a sparkle of snow.
They sang and danced, all cheery and free’
“We’re helping Santa to make his deliveries
for all the children that dance and play
to celebrate the Sun King’s birthday.”
I crept away slowly, not wanting to bother,
and headed back down to where we were gathered.
I’m sure I was spotted, as the faeries flew high,
For a flash of wings glittered near my eye
As I heard one say “Have a blessed Night!”
And I know now that Mama was right–
While Santa is busy getting ready for Christmas,
He has special helpers for the littlest Pagans and Wiccans!
Meet Garnet: You might remember the Sabbat Faeries…but if you don’t, its okay–I can tell you again! You do remember that tonight is The Longest Night, where we celebrate the dying of the Old Sun King and the birth of the Baby Sun King? Tomorrow is what we call Yule, or the Winter Solstice–the time when the Baby Sun King is reborn and the days will start to grow longer again as the Sun gets stronger.
Yule is the favorite holiday of Garnet, who loves the snow and evergreens. In fact, Garnet actually lives in an evergreen–the 34th branch of the biggest, tallest pine tree in the Piney Woods! When Garnet decided to move from the city to be closer to her friends (she used to live in New York City’s Central Park), a cardinal friend built her a nest there, so it would feel like being in the city, with its tall buildings. He even donated some of his feathers to make a nice waterproof roof, and a fox friend donated some of her fur to make the nest cozy and warm. Garnet loves her perch in the Piney woods, where she can see all the way across the forest.
Garnet is in charge of the Winter Solstice, and organizing all the fairies to deliver the gifts for Pagan children that celebrate the Winter Solstice. She had gotten to know Santa one winter, and he was so upset that he felt he wasn’t doing a proper job at Yule, because he was still trying to get ready for Christmas, that she offered for her and her friends to help. You see…during the rest of the year, Garnet is busy with her regular job–she helps teach the baby birds how to sing their special songs, but by winter, they’ve all learned them! She was happy to help Santa out since she would be sitting around waiting for Spring to come around again otherwise. And so, Garnet makes sure that the fairies pick up the presents from Santa on time to deliver them to all the boys and girls that celebrate Yule while Santa double checks his list and packs his sleigh.
What was that you asked? What about Santa’s cookies and hot chocolate? Oh! don’t worry–that’s why we make the cookies extra small! And use your doll tea set! Besides…fairies have a very high metabolism. Why, I bet they eat as much as Santa!
Chimneys? No…fairies don’t like those–the soot makes them sneeze! And since they are so very tiny, they can fit through key holes and window cracks.
How do the presents not get squished? I have no idea…except to say, its magic.
A note from Mom: This is where I probably should mention that we don’t normally treat Santa or the Sabbat Fairies as “real”–at least not as “real” as the literal, physical (or otherwise) sort of entity. We don’t lie to our kids. Chickadee would be the first to tell you that Santa is “made up, but that’s ok because he’s still cool” followed up by a “but I’m not supposed to say he’s not real, because it might hurt someone’s feelings” (she’ll probably tell you the same thing about Jesus) (my objection isn’t to her saying
he’s either isn’t real, but that she hasn’t learned to do so with much tact yet). But we do tell stories. There is a difference, and even a very small child is capable of understanding that difference. Kids are much better at suspended disbelief than we are. We have always (from the get go) separated the idea of something being “true” from something that contains “Truth”. We follow a belief system seeped in mythology, mythology that is symbolic and allegorical and powerful…but not true. So, for our kids…Santa (and the Sabbat Faeries) are a story, and stories are important.