From the Old English word geol or geola, meaning “Christmas Day, Christmastide.” But this Old English word comes from jol, an Old Norse word for a feast (of the pagan variety). A similar word, giuli, referred to a two-month winter "season" that was roughly the same period as the December and January of the Romans. And the Old Norse word may have been a borrowing from an Old French word, jolif, meaning something nice, festive or … jolly. The word was revived in the 19th century, to give a unique name to the tradition of a “Merry Old English” Christmas.

Yule is also a country in the Perilous Realm, far to the north, in the Snowlands. It is also called The Kingdom of the Fir Trees. It is said that a great loremaster lives there, who is known to ride about on a sleigh pulled by the great antlered deer called tarand, bringing gifts and good cheer to everyone, to help them through the long dark winter, which in that country is all year round. Yule is, in fact, the place where Christmas (and its ancient pagan forebears) lives on always. To live there you’d have to get used to a steady diet of plum pudding and wassail.

As I look out my window now, I see snow falling. Looks like it will fall all day. I can almost imagine I live in the land of Yule. Time to go make some wassail.