As the days are about to become longer, let’s celebrate the earth’s upcoming axial tilt with the longest night of the year—December 21st. While you’re out that evening enjoying a champagne-fueled holiday party (or drinking PBR by yourself in a poorly decorated dive bar), consider paying homage to the Proto-Germanic people who are ultimately responsible for our modern-day Holiday Industrial Complex. Without their pre-Christian ritualistic celebrations, Cyber Monday, Jingle Ball, and The Muppet Christmas Carol would not exist.
Here are the top three pagan-derived holiday traditions to make the most of your extended evening hours.
Show them your Yule log
Say you’ve been invited to a party at so and so’s apartment…and everyone is encouraged to bring some form of booze. To justify the Two Buck Chuck you’ve purchased for the occasion, take the time to bake this most delicious time-honored dessert (also sometimes referred to as a chocolate log). The Yule log was traditionally made in the earliest celebrations of Winter Solstice and eventually at Christmas gatherings. What woman wouldn’t be impressed to meet a man who knows a thing or two about nutty, fruity logs?
All mistletoe, all the time
The ancient Greeks believed in its aphrodisiac qualities. The druids thought it to be sacred. So why wouldn’t you care to perpetually hang a sprig just beyond your forehead with a re-purposed wire hanger wrapped tight around your head? I’d like to see how many girls actually deny you a kiss when you and your mistletoe floppily corner them. The clincher? Explain to her how the highly poisonous, runny berries were considered the sperm of the gods in Celtic mythology.
A high-risk gambit, you say? The gods reward bold risks, my friend! Just…don’t creep anyone out.
Mead me at midnight
If your flaming Yule log or deadly mistletoe coronet fail to win her over, if she has yet to appreciate your high praise of light winning over dark, the continuation of life amidst winter’s barren starkness, then it’s time to bring in the booze.
This is your last (and perhaps strongest) strategy for the evening. Mead is the most suitable libation given its traditional role in the celebration of all things paganistic. But if honey wine is hard to come by at your last chance saloon, simply raise a PBR and toast to the days getting longer and (sadly) the nights getting shorter.
Barbara Purcell is a NYC-based yoga instructor with anger issues. In addition to baking artisanal vegan yule logs, she specializes in Pilates, awesome stretches, and insane arm balances. She has been featured on Tyra Banks, Playboy Radio, and Cosmo Radio, empowering others to put the “ho” in holistic. Check out her website here.
Babs put Kevin “Dot Com” Brown from 30 Rock through the wringer in Is Yoga Manly? Kevin “Dot Com” Brown Tests It for Us, and we asked an Englishman to explain the concept of penis poles to us in May Day: Innocent Field Day or Sex Fest?