"I will hold Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens.
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The yule log was a magical source of much-needed fuel for the sun, and subsequently symbolised the sun's light, warmth and life-giving power. Another story was that the 'yule' which supposedly referred to the ale drink at that time.
Christians adopted the yule log and it became customary to place it on the hearth on Christmas Eve. It was kept burning there for at least twelve hours, its glow adding extra warmth to the home and enhancing the atmosphere of the festival. Strict rules must be followed in everything pertaining to the log. It can never be purchased it has to be received as a gift, be part of a tree grown on one's own property or just be picked up. It had to be kindled with a fragment of the previous year's log which had been specially preserved for this purpose, and its fire was never to be permitted to go out by itself.
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