Celebrating Yule/Winter Solstice
To me this part of the holiday season is completely mine, though my husband and daughters know what by beliefs they aren't quite on the same page as me yet.
I'll wake up before sunrise on the morning of the Solstice, make a yummy cup of tea and then sneak outside to watch the sun(God) rise and take his first breath. I will try and spend the majority of my day outside soaking in the suns rays. That evening I will do a small ritual dedicated to the Goddess, God, and the year to come.
This is quite time for me and a time to get my thoughts together, because next up is Christmas & the in-laws.
Christmas, Why Celebrate It?
OK so why celebrate Christmas you ask? Like many of you I was raised in a Christian home, went to church on Sundays like a good girl and loved Christmas.
Now I am 39 a Witch and my Church is nature, but I am also a wife and mother. My husband and daughters know who and what I am, but his very Catholic family does not; so we celebrate Christmas. At our house we celebrate Christmas eve with my family with a big dinner and gift exchange, when we get home the girls are aloud to open one gift and then it's off to bed. We wake up Christmas morning to see what Santa has brought us.
We do not do the whole going to Midnight Mass thing, in fact we (my husband, children, and myself) do not go to church ever; as much as my mother in law hounds us to; but on Christmas day We all bow our heads and pray before we eat, and say amen, we have religious talks, I even endure my mother in law continuously asking me to get my husband to go to church ( running joke, My husband says "I used to be a practicing Catholic, but I got it right so I don't have to practice anymore").
It's the same thing every year, but I have learned how to survive it.
Surviving Christmas Without Feeling Like Your Forsaking Your Beliefs
It's easier than you think it is and it all comes down to a few things.
What to do - when ever a prayer or blessing is said, bow your head and say a silent chant, prayer, etc to your higher power, when the prayer/blessing is over say "amen" like everyone else.
Why - By doing this you are keeping your own beliefs while respecting the beliefs of those around you. Remember you can't expect to be respected if you don't show respect.
What to do - I know that with my family as well as with my in-laws the talk will somehow makes it around to religion/god/Jesus/etc. If this happens don't panic, either excuse yourself and go mingle elsewhere or do my favorite thing ask questions about god/the bible you know will get people flustered because they can't come up with a good answer for it.
Why - because no matter the subject if people can't answer it or it makes them uncomfortable, they will either leave the conversation or they will change the subject.
Most of all just enjoy being with your family and friends, don't get caught up in trying to be your best Pagan, because if all you do all night is try and prove who's better the Christians or the Pagans, you will miss out on all the fun and joy of the holidays.
I hope this helps even just a little and I hope your holidays are magickal.