Happy Solstice! To celebrate the Christmas / Solstice holidays this year, I’ve customized some Chocolate Rabbit grandparents as a special holiday family.
Please meet the Yule Rabbits! Yule Rabbit grandparents have been dispatched to a few close Sylvanian friends around the globe, in hopes of bringing some extra Christmas cheer. I’m so sorry to anyone I wasn’t able to send Yules to; I ran short on time to make as many as I would have liked.
I’m a bit slow at sewing, so I was only able to do grandparents this year. However I’ll be adding new members to the Yule family each year, as an annual holiday project.
Each rabbit has been given green-tipped ears, to match the colour of a Christmas tree (and various evergreens), a matching green nose, and a bright red Christmas-y tail. Grandfather and Grandmother Yule are each wearing handmade holiday outfits, with decorative sprigs of holly. My sewing is quite cringe-worthy, but hopefully will improve with practice. The painting was fairly minimal, but sewing for Sylvanians is rather a complicated undertaking; however, I am reasonably happy with the results. To see more information about painting custom Sylvanians, you might want to visit the Custom Blueberry Bunny Family Project (along with the update and the addition of a wedding couple). At some point, I will post an update with details about how I made the clothing.
In celebration of the Solstice, please enjoy the legend of the Yule rabbits! Check back tomorrow for the story of how Grandfather and Grandmother Yule first met.
Legend of the Yule Rabbits
A very long time ago, Sylvanians feared the longest, darkest night of the year. Each family spent the Solstice tucked away in their home, worrying about what might be hidden in the darkness and about more practical matters, such as having enough food and warm clothing to last the rest of the cold days until Spring’s arrival.
But, one year, that all changed. That was the Christmas that the Yule family came to Sylvania.
The Yules traveled, by sleigh, through the forest – it was dark, cold and quiet. They entered town and saw all the houses were dark. Even the village square was empty. The new family was confused. Where was the singing, the lights, feasts, gifts and the family celebrations?
After exchanging hugs, each family member took a big sack from the sleigh, went to a different house, and knocked on the door.
At first, the Sylvanians were fearful. Who would be brave enough to be walking about outside on such a cold, dark night? Spirits, perhaps? But being the caring forest folk that they are, no Sylvanian would even consider not answering the door. What if a friend or traveler was in need of assistance? So, at each home, a Sylvanian cautiously opened their home to a Yule Rabbit.
Yule Rabbits are just ever so slightly more magical than most Sylvanians. Soon, each guest had reached into their bags and given their hosts some very special gifts.
First, there were strings of lights. “Because the night is longer and colder than any other night in the year, we have brought extra light to cheer your homes!”, Grandfather Yule explained in one house.
In a neighboring house, Grandmother Yule was pulling a surprisingly large tree from her bag. “It may be too cold to play in the forest, so we’ve brought the forest to you! This tree will remind you that Spring is soon to come”.
Father Yule brought a huge pile of festively wrapped gifts from his bag. “It’s cold outside, but friends and families work together to keep every critter safe and warm. Sharing gifts will show our love and thankfulness for the special Sylvanians in our lives.
Meanwhile, Mother Yule produced a huge feast, complete with fish, potatoes, vegetables, puddings, and cakes. She quickly filled the table with with a dizzying array of foods. “A feast shared with friends and family will remind us of the bounty of the seasons!”.
Older Sister Yule had a huge, ancient storybook in her bag. Inside, there were legends, myths, ghost stories, and even memories of all the fun the villagers had enjoyed throughout the years. “Sharing stories will make the night pass quickly!”
The older Yule Brother had all kinds of games in his sack. Soon, all the Sylvanians in the house were playing charades, board games, and cards.
Finally, the smallest Yules opened their sacks. Inside, there were all kinds of musical instruments! No Sylvanian can resist a good song, and soon a merry band had formed.
Sylvanians always want to share with their friends, so soon they found themselves rushing from their homes to share the lights, tree, food, stories, games, book, music, and other gifts with the rest of the village. The night became so merry and joyous that the time flew by. Some time later, the villagers were shocked to see the sun rising! The longest night had passed; from now on, the light would last just a little bit longer each day.
The Sylvanians agreed that this was a much better way to spend the Solstice and from then on, it would be a night of fun, celebration, and togetherness. They looked about to thank their new friends…but they were gone. The villagers were just able to hear the sleigh bells jingling as the Yules’ sleigh flew out of town.
The winter passed but food and supplies remained plentiful. The village was full of fun and merriment for the rest of the winter. Soon it was time to welcome spring!
Sylvanian legend says that every home that welcomes a Yule rabbit will be prosperous and happy, full of love and have a cupboard that never goes bare.