Welcome Yule

Last week, Dave and I started our Christmas celebrations at The Revels, a night of Scottish singing, dancing, and music at Dartmouth University. The audience formed a chorus to sing “Deck the Halls,” “Auld Lang Syne,” and “Donna Nobis Pacem” along with the performers on stage. And the cast told tall tales, acted out myths—including scenes with life-size puppets—and then closed the show with a reading of this poem. We liked these words a lot; hope you do, too.

  • The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

    And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
    And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
    Came people singing, dancing,
    To drive the dark away.
    They lighted candles in the winter trees;
    They hung their homes with evergreen;
    They burned beseeching fires all night long
    To keep the year alive.
    And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
    They shouted, reveling.
    Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
    Echoing behind us—listen!
    All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
    This Shortest Day,
    As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
    They carol, feast, give thanks,
    And dearly love their friends,
    And hope for peace.
    And now so do we, here, now,
    This year and every year.



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  • Chris B says:

    Thanks for the drawing and sharing the poem. Happy Holidays to you and Dave from Chris in Phoenix.

  • Angie says:

    Melissa, Merry Christmas to you and Dave! I’m totally chuffed because I had a huge surprise yesterday when I unwrapped a parcel that was under the tree to find…. WELL FED 2 !!!! There’s a story here which I think you’ll like. I live in Italy with my man, who doesn’t speak a word of English, and sort of gets all muddle headed when he sees English text. He had this wonderful idea to buy me Dallas and Melissa’s second book, The Whole 30, for Christmas. So he jumped onto Amazon, and – I don’t know what he searched, to be honest – but it was probably just ‘Paleo’ under ‘Books’. So he finds Well Fed 2. He associates the W with Whole, the ‘2’ with ‘second book’. and ‘Melissa’ with… Melissa. And orders the book without a second thought. ‘Oh Wow!’ I cried, as I opened the car-radio box into which it had been surreptitiously stashed. It’s Well Fed 2! Melissa Joulwan’s book! ‘What do you mean?’ he says, ‘Isn’t it the Whole 30?’. Hahaha! And how BRILLIANT! So glad that it is here, it’s been the best Christmas surprise!