Christmas

Santa Claus And The Werewolf

From the book Werwolves, by Elliott O’Donnell, first published in 1912, we have this account of a Werewolf haunting at Christmas.

A young married couple of the name of Anderson, having acquired, through the death of a relative, a snug fortune, resolved to retire from business and spend the rest of their lives in indolence and ease. Being fond of the country, they bought some land in Cumberland, at the foot of some hills, far away from any town, and built on it a large two-storied villa.

They soon, however, began to experience trouble with their servants, who left them on the pretext that the place was lonely, and that they could not put up with the noises that they heard at night. The Andersons ridiculed their servants, but when their children remarked on the same thing they viewed the matter more seriously.

“What are the noises like?” they inquired.

“Wild animals,” Willie, the eldest child, replied. “They come howling round the window at night and we hear their feet patter along the passage and stop at our door.”

Much mystified, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson decided to sit up with the children and listen. They did so, and between two and three in the morning were much startled by a noise that sounded like the growling of a wolf – Mr. Anderson had heard wolves in Canada – immediately beneath the window. Throwing open the window, he peered out; the moon was fully up and every stick and stone was plainly discernible; but there was now no sound and no sign of any animal. When he had closed the window the growling at once recommenced, yet when he looked again nothing was to be seen.

After a while the growling ceased, and they heard the front door, which they had locked before coming upstairs, open, and the footsteps of some big, soft-footed animal ascend the stairs. Mr. Anderson waited till the steps were just outside the room and then flung open the door, but the light from his acetylene lamp revealed a passage full of moonbeams – nothing else.

He and his wife were now thoroughly mystified. In the morning they explored the grounds, but could find no trace of footmarks, nothing to indicate the nature of their visitant. It was now close on Christmas, and as the noises had not been heard for some time, it was hoped that the disturbances would not occur again.

The Andersons, like all modern parents, made idols of their children. They never did wrong, nothing was too good for them, and everything they wanted they had. At Christmas, perhaps, their authority was more particularly in evidence; at any rate, it was then that the greatest care was taken that the menu should be in strict accordance with their instructions.

“What shall Santa Claus bring you this time, my darlings?” Mr. Anderson asked, a week or so before the great day arrived; and Willie, aged six, at once cried out: “What a fool you are, daddy! It is all tosh about old Claus, there’s no such person!”

“Wait and see!” Mr. Anderson meekly replied. “You mark my words, he will come into your room on Christmas Eve laden with presents.”

“I don’t believe it!” Willie retorted. “You told us that silly tale last year and I never saw any Claus!”

“He came when you were asleep, dearie,” Mrs. Anderson ventured to remark.

“Well! I’ll keep awake this time!” Willie shouted.

“And we’ll take the presents first and pinch old Claus afterwards,” Violet Evelyn, the second child, joined in.

“And I’ll prick his towsers wif pins!” Horace, aged three and a half, echoed. “I don’t care nothink for old Santa Claus!” and he pulled a long nose in the manner his doting father had taught him.

Christmas Eve came at last – a typical old-fashioned Christmas with heaps of snow on the ground and frost on the window-panes and trees. The Andersons’ house was warm and comfortable – for once in a way the windows were shut – and enormous fires blazed merrily away in the grates.

Whilst the children spent most of the day viewing the good things in the larder and speculating how much they could eat of each, and which would taste the nicest, Mr. Anderson rehearsed in full costume the role of Santa Claus. He had an enormous sack full of presents – everything the children had demanded – and he meant to enter their room with it on his shoulder at about twelve o’clock.

Tea-time came, and during the interval between that meal and supper all hands – even Horace’s – were at work, decorating the hall and staircases with holly and mistletoe. After supper “Good King Wencelas,” “Noel,” and one or two other carols were sung, and the children then decided to go to bed.

It was then ten o’clock; and exactly two hours later their father, elaborately clad as Santa Claus, and staggering, in the orthodox fashion, beneath a load of presents, shuffled softly down the passage leading to their room. The snow had ceased falling, the moon was out, and the passage flooded with a soft, phosphorescent glow that threw into strong relief every minute object.

Mr. Anderson had got half-way along it when on his ears there suddenly fell a faint sound of yelping! His whole frame thrilled and his mind reverted to the scenes of his youth – to the prairies in the far-off West, where, over and over again, he had heard these sounds, and his faithful Winchester repeater had stood him in good service.

Again the yelping – this time nearer. Yes! it was undoubtedly a wolf; and yet there was an intonation in that yelping not altogether wolfish – something Mr. Anderson had never heard before, and which he was consequently at a loss to define. Again it rang out – much nearer this time – much more trying to the nerves, and the cold sweat of fear burst out all over him. Again – close under the wall of the house – a moaning, snarling, drawn-out cry that ended in a whine so piercing that Mr. Anderson’s knees shook.

One of the children, Violet Evelyn he thought, stirred in her bed and muttered: “Santa Claus! Santa Claus!” and Mr. Anderson, with a desperate effort, staggered on under his load and opened their door.

The clock in the hall beneath began to strike twelve. Santa Claus, striving hard to appear jolly and genial, entered the room, and a huge grey, shadowy figure entered with him. A slipper thrown by Willie whizzed through the air, and, narrowly missing Santa Claus, fell to the ground with a clatter.

There was then a deathly silence, and Violet and Horace, raising their heads, saw two strange figures standing in the centre of the room staring at one another – the one figure they at once identified by the costume. He was Santa Claus – but not the genial, rosy-cheeked Santa Claus their father had depicted. On the contrary, it was a Santa Claus with a very white face and frightened eyes – a Santa Claus that shook as if the snow and ice had given him the ague.

But the other figure – what was it? Something very tall, far taller than their father, nude and grey, something like a man with the head of a wolf – a wolf with white pointed teeth and horrid, light eyes. Then they understood why it was that Santa Claus trembled; and Willie stood by the side of his bed, white and silent.

It is impossible to say how long this state of things would have lasted, or what would eventually have happened, had not Mrs. Anderson, anxious to see how Santa Claus was faring, and rather wondering why he was gone so long, resolved herself to visit the children’s room. As the light from her candle appeared on the threshold of the room the thing with the wolf’s head vanished.

“Why, whatever were you all doing?” she began. Then Santa Claus and the children all spoke at once – whilst the sack of presents tumbled unheeded on the floor. Every available candle was soon lighted, and mother and father and Willie, Violet and Horace all spent the remainder of that night in close company.

On the following day it was proposed, and carried unanimously, that the house should be put up for sale. This was done at the earliest opportunity, and fortunately for the Andersons suitable tenants were soon found.

Before leaving, however, Mr. Anderson made another and more exhaustive search of the grounds, and discovered, in a cave in the hills immediately behind the house, a number of bones. Amongst them was the skull of a wolf, and lying close beside it a human skeleton, with only the skull missing. Mr. Anderson burnt the bones, hoping that by so doing he would rid the house of its unwelcome visitor; and, as his tenants so far have not complained, he believes that the hauntings have actually ceased.

I am the Holly King

I am the Holly King,
the dying Sun and King of the Old Year
Like the Phoenix who rises anew from its ashes
I too shall return, born anew
As the Child, the New Sun and King
I hold in my arms
He is my son and my heir
He is my Self
Having learned the wisdoms of the South
I now return to the North
To bring you warmth and light
And the promise of Spring
I am the Holly King.

~R.

Invoking the Holly King

Today we do bid Hail to our beloved Holly King
With these ancient carols, we do again sing

He who is called Father Christmas is returning yet again
As the Solstice’s longest night has finally begun
We await you, Santa Claus, Lord of Winter
To honor you on this day that you always were
Saint Nicholas, patron of children on Gaia’s sphere

This invocation, we pray you do hear
Come bless us, upon this season of the Yuletide
Great Holly King as you fly upon your sleigh ride
Whether your gifts to us be physical or spiritual
We know that they will always be most magical

Grateful, because we know your blessings’ great worth
We offer a blessing of our own — Peace on Earth!

by Ginger Strivelli

A Christmas Salutation

I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, that while I cannot give,
you can take.

No heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
Take joy!

And so at this Christmastime, I greet you,
With the prayer that for you, now, and forever,
The day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

~Italian 16th Century Benison

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful!

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful! ” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Oh, come, all ye faithful
Gather round the Yule fire
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye,
To call the Sun!
Fires within us
Call the Fire above us

O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
Our Lord, the Sun!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee!
Born again at Yuletide!
Yule fires and candles flames
Are lighted for You!
Come to thy children
Calling for thy blessing!

O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
Our Lord, the Sun!

From Green Egg Magazine

Gloria

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Gloria ” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Snow lies deep upon the Earth
Still our voices warmly sing
Heralding the glorious birth
Of the Child, the Winter King

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

Our triumphant voices claim
Joy and hope and love renewed
And our Lady’s glad refrain
Answer Winter’s solitude.

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

In Her arms a holy Child
Promises a glowing Light
Through the winter wind so wild
He proclaims the growing Light.

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

Now the turning of the year
Of the greater Turning sings
Passing age of cold and fear
Soon our golden summer brings.

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

From Green Egg Magazine

Glory to the New Born King

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Brothers, sisters, come and sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Gardens peaceful, forests wild
Celebrate the Winter Child!

Now the time of glowing starts!
Joyful hands and joyful hearts!
Cheer the Yule log as it burns!
For once again, the Sun returns!
Brothers, sisters, come and sing!
Glory to the new-born King!

Brothers, sisters, singing come
Glory to the newborn Sun
Through the wind and dark of night
Celebrate the coming light!

Suns glad rays through fear’s cold burns,
Life through Death the Wheel now turns!
Gather round Yule log and tree
Celebrate Life’s mystery
brothers, sisters, singing come
Glory to the new-born Sun.

From Green Egg Magazine

Silent Night

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Silent Night” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Silent night, Solstice Night
All is calm, all is bright
Nature slumbers in forest and glen
Till in Springtime She wakes again

Sleeping spirits grow strong!
Sleeping spirits grow strong!

Silent night, Solstice Night
Silver moon shining bright
Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth
Yule fires welcome the Sun’s rebirth

Hark, the Light is reborn!
Hark, the Light is reborn!

Silent night, Solstice Night
Quiet rest till the Light
Turning ever the rolling Wheel
Brings the Winter to comfort and heal

Rest your spirit in peace!
Rest your spirit in peace!

From Green Egg Magazine

Gods Rest Ye Merry Pagan Folk

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Gods rest ye merry Pagan folk
Let nothing you dismay
Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice Day!

The growing dark is ended now
And Spring is on its way

O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!

The winter’s worst still lies ahead
Fierce tempest, snow and rain!
Beneath the blanket on the ground
The spark of life remains!

The Sun’s warm rays caress the seeds
To raise Life’s songs again!

O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!

Within the blessed apple lies
The promise of the Queen
For from this pentacle shall rise
The orchards fresh and green

The Earth shall blossom once again
The air be sweet and clean!

O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!

From Green Egg Magazine

Joy to the World

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Joy to the World.” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Joy to the World, the Light has come
Let Earth receive her Lord
Let every heart, prepare Him room

And Heaven and Nature sing
And Heaven and Nature sing
And He-av’n and Heaven and Nature sing!

Welcome our Lord, who brings us Light
Our Lady gives him birth!
His Living Light, to warm our hearts,

And wake the sleeping Earth
And wake the sleeping Earth
And wake and Wake the sleeping Earth.

Light we the fires to greet our Lord
Our Light, our Life, our Lord!
Let every voice, sing holy praise

And Heaven and Nature sing
And Heaven and Nature sing
And He-av’n and Heaven and Nature sing!

From Green Egg Magazine

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