Eight Things to Hang on a Pagan Holiday Tree

Mom and Daughter Hanging Ornaments
Celebrate Yule any way you like - and if you want a tree, get one!.

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Just because you’re not celebrating the Christian holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have a holiday tree – lots of Pagans do, and it’s perfectly fine if you want to. However, one thing you may notice is that many seasonal ornaments are rooted in the traditions of Christianity — angels, baby Jesus, wise men, that sort of thing. If you follow a nature-based religious system, there’s no reason you can’t have things on your tree that celebrate your own beliefs as well. Here are eight great ideas for things to hang on your holiday tree — whatever you decide to call it.

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Yule Ornaments

Gingerbread Ornaments
Inscribe ornaments with symbols, or decorate with icing before you hang them on your tree.

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If you're hanging up ornaments for Yule, why not make some of them magical? Use basic craft supplies to create magical and seasonally appropriate ornaments for your Yule tree. Salt dough is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and you can create just about anything from it. Use it with cookie cutters to make your own Sabbat ornaments.

Try making a batch of cinnamon spell ornaments as a fun and magical holiday project. Cinnamon smells good and it tastes delicious… but what else is it good for? Cinnamon has been used in a variety of ways for thousands of years. The Romans burned it in funeral ceremonies, believing that the aroma was sacred and pleasing to the gods. On each ornament, use a toothpick or small paring knife to inscribe a symbol of your intent.

If you want to keep an earth-friendly theme to your Yule decorating, one way to do so is to use the elements found in nature as part of your decor. This is a project that you may have made before if you have a Girl Scout — simple things such as seeds, acorns, feathers, and other found items are easy to make into ornaments and other decorations.

Use chenille stems in your favorite color to create pipecleaner pentacle ornaments. They're easy, and your kids can do it once you show them how to bend the stems. You'll need three pipe cleaners, or chenille stems, for each pentacle.

Finally, consider using glass or plastic fillable ornaments to create spells that literally hang on your tree! You can create one for just about any magical purpose — consider making one for each family member, to bring blessings and abundance to you all year long.

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Herbal Sachets

Herbal Sachet
Patti Wigington

Herbal sachets are a great way to use up bits of scrap fabric, and they have the added bonus of making your home smell amazing! A sachet is simply a cloth pouch or bag stuffed with aromatic blends of herbs, flowers, or other goodies. Use one of the sacred plants associated with the Yule season, such as mistletoe, holly, or evergreen boughs to make a herbal sachet.

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Suns and Solar Symbols

Sun Mask

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The winter solstice is all about the return of the sun, so why not decorate your holiday tree with solar symbols? Kids can make simple paper ones out of colored paper plates and construction paper, or you can buy wooden discs from the local craft store and paint them bright yellows and oranges. You can even make them with salt dough or modeling clay!

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Lots of Lights

Gold Yule Candles

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Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there's Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light -- candles, bonfires, and lights around your house.

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Magical Items

Herb Pouch
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Who hangs magical tools on their tree? Anyone who wants to, that's who! Decorate your tree with Tarot cards strung on ribbons, herb bundles, crystals on a string, bells, even magical poppets!

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Fertility Symbols

Red Deer Stag
UK Natural History / Getty Images

Although most Neopagans today don't associate Yule with fertility, in early pre-Christian societies there was definitely a fertility connection at the winter solstice. Fertility rites were performed underneath mistletoe, and the idea of wassailing actually came from a pre-Christian European practice. Hang things like antlers, cups, and eggs on your tree if you're feeling a need for fertility symbolism, or pay tribute to the fertility deities who normally don't get honored until Beltane.

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Gods' Eyes

Gods Eye
Patti Wigington

God's eyes are one of the easiest crafts you can make, and they're versatile because you can create them in any color. At Yule, you can make them in reds, golds, whites and greens. Try using cinnamon sticks instead of craft sticks, to bring the scent of the season into your home.

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Natural Items

Tree Star
Use natural found items to top your holiday tree.

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Natural items make a great decoration for a tree - go out in the woods on a crisp winter day, and gather things like twigs, feathers, pine cones, acorns, bark, berries, and other found items to hang on your tree. Use the extras to make a tree topper out of nature's gifts.

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Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Eight Things to Hang on a Pagan Holiday Tree." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, learnreligions.com/things-to-hang-on-holiday-tree-2563022. Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 27). Eight Things to Hang on a Pagan Holiday Tree. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/things-to-hang-on-holiday-tree-2563022 Wigington, Patti. "Eight Things to Hang on a Pagan Holiday Tree." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/things-to-hang-on-holiday-tree-2563022 (accessed March 21, 2023).