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December 25, 2003

What is a yuletide anyway?

Merry Christmas
from Gone East.

Posted by jghiii at December 25, 2003 12:00 PM
Posted by: sherman on December 25, 2003 07:34 PM

Not sure about the tide, but I saw the log today.

Channel 36, some low ranked independent out of San Francisco -- so low ranked they can't even get UPN shows -- did the Yule Log this morning. They focused the camera on a fireplace with a few burning logs and played Christmas music. That's it. No commercials, no announcer. Just the burning Yule Log and music.

Now that I consider it -- there was nothing special to the log, so what makes it a "Yule" log? It must be that they are logs burned on Christmas.
So if in the term Yule Log, "yule" is just an adjective to point out that this is a Christmas related noun that is getting modified, then Yule Tides are just greetings given at Christmas, unlike regular tidings and greetings given at other times. A tide is probably a sort of greeting -- a short form of tidings. There's that carol with "Good tidings to you and to you, your waffle too" so tidings are a sort of greeting. So I guess that people in the old days would say hi to each other around christmas and then exchange waffles. Speaking of which, I saw a commercial for waffle sticks -- frozen rectangular shaped waffles and they come with syrup in containers shaped like the ones they put nugget dippings in -- and I'm hoping like crazy that they may be as good as Burger King french toast sticks which I used to get all the time for breakfast until the Berkeley downtown Burger King closed up and was replaced by a Fast Food Indian food place called Curry N Hurry. Man, I miss those FT sticks, and the McGriddles are great, but nothing was as good as those FT sticks.

But I digress. So Yule means Christmas-related. Or maybe it means that waffles are exchanged at the same time but if so then where were the waffles on the Yule Log on Channel 36 this morning? I'll tell you where they were -- they were edited out. THE YULE LOG (sorry, Mark, but this outrage calls for all caps) IS A FAKE!!!!! IT WASN'T LIVE!!!! The fun part of watching a low-ranked tv station's Yule Log is when the hands come out to toss another log on the fire, which must happen sooner or later since these stations broadcast the Yule Log for at least six hours and often longer. And so I waited and waited -- afraid to leave the tv for fear that I would miss it. It was a stakeout and I saw the logs were getting smaller and had mostly turned to ash so that they had to toss one on soon -- and then there was a shimmering like the old Star Trek transport special effect and all of a sudden there were a couple of new logs burning away on the fire. THE YULE LOG WAS NOT LIVE!!! And it was edited. I was so upset. It wasn't a good way to start my 2003 Christmas.

And however upsetting, since there were no waffles burned with the logs, I think that Yuletide just means "a christmas greeting", whether or not you also include a waffle with the good cheer.

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