The Palmer Lake, Colorado Yule Log


I grew up in a very small town between Denver and Colorado Springs.  My house is on a dirt road, the town still doesn't have a stop light and every year most of the town turns out to hunt for the Yule Log.  Yes, a Yule Log. 


Historically, the Yule Log is part of a European Christmas or Yule celebration.  For over 70 years in Palmer Lake, a log is decorated with red ribbon and is hidden in the woods.  On the second Sunday before Christmas, the town gathers at the town hall and marches into the woods to hunt for the log (which is hidden in advance).  There isn't a prize for finding the log, but the finder (and all children hunting for the log) can ride back on the log as it is pulled up to the town hall.  Half of the log is saved for the fire for next year's hunt and half is burned as the town celebrates and drinks wassail.  


The Yule Log has been a part of our family's Christmas traditions for as long as I can remember.... everyone rents a cape, pins a tiny pine bough with ribbon to their coat, and stomps through the woods in the hopes of finding the log.  We've never found the log, but my dad has hidden it twice... and after the hunt ends, we walk to my parent's house for food and festivities afterward.  It doesn't feel like Christmas until the log has been hunted!