Once upon a time, in the soft gray glow of a Christmas morning, a tradition took place in the great Hall of the village. A gigantic Yule Log, green and dressed with ropes, was brought in amidst the sounds of hearty laughter and cheerful shouts. “Hail, Christmas Log!” the villagers echoed, welcoming the centerpiece of their festivities.
Atop the mighty log, giggling with excitement, sat the Squire’s small son, his cheeks rosy with delight. The villagers escorted him and his wooden throne through the village, heading towards the Hall’s grand hearth. With a mighty “Ho, heave ho!” they rolled the Yule Log into the gaping mouth of the enormous fireplace. “Hail, Christmas Log!” they hailed again, their voices filling the air with joy.
The Squire, a man who held dear to these olden customs, waited with a piece of the previous year’s Yule Log. His eyes twinkled as he held the blackened piece of wood, a reminder of last year’s joy and warmth. Lighting it with a flame, the Squire started this year’s Christmas fire, ensuring the continuity of warmth and cheer from one Christmas to another. “Hail, Christmas Log!” the villagers cried once more, the room radiating with the glow of the burning Yule Log.
As the day melted into night, the Hall buzzed with the arrival of guests, eager for the evening’s entertainment. The room was filled with laughter and anticipation, the guests settling comfortably on benches and stools. The tranquility was broken by the Squire’s little son, his high-pitched voice ringing through the room, demanding a story. The crowd responded with smiles and nods, waiting for the young boy to select the evening’s storyteller.
The little boy, bouncing with energy, started a nursery rhyme, his small finger pointing at each guest as he pranced around the room. The final line of his jingle landed on the Justice, the stern man who was usually seen delivering laws rather than tales. Startled, the boy stepped back, but the Justice smiled, assuring him his choice was fair.
“I shall tell a tale,” he said with a grin, silencing the room. And so, amidst the crackling fire and twinkling Christmas lights, began a night of enchanting tales and merry jests, all echoing the cheer of the Yule Log, the heart of their Christmas celebrations.