Secret Santa Blog Hop

Yule Log: A Christmas Tradition

Click on the this link to find out all the rules and how the hop works. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire HD!

Burning a Yule log is probably the oldest Christmas tradition there is. The pagan tradition of the yule log was a celebration of the winter solstice. Celebrating Yule means no work as long as the special log burns. It meant the gathering of family and friends for singing, dancing, and storytelling. It was also a time for romances, feasting and fun.

© Bretwalda |

While many slaves in the antebellum South were not allowed to celebrate many “white” holidays like Thanksgiving and Independence Day they were allowed to celebrate Christmas. This was a special day for slaves.

On some plantations slaves were allowed to select a Yule log to burn in the main fireplace of the big house. The slaves’ holiday lasted as long as the log burned. The slave sent to fetch the Yule log from the woods took a great deal of care in choosing what he hoped would be a very slow-burning log. In this way the Christmas holiday could be extended to New Year’s Day.

In my historical novel with romantic elements Living Half Free, Zachariah is a slave who dreams of escaping his life at the Hickory Rail Inn. Lillian Hildebrand is the answer to his prayers. He falls in love with this Cherokee woman from a powerful family, and under her direction he learns to pass as white. But it’s not long before he discovers that freedom that’s based on a lie will only get him so far. While struggling to find his place in the world, he also wrestles within his heart to realize his faith. This faith is tested when his slave past catches up with him, and threatens everyone he cares for. He must decide whether slavery is the price he’s willing to pay for his family’s freedom.

It is a love story not a romance.

Giveaway: Leave a comment including your email address and you will be entered to win these two rustic Christmas ornaments.

Click on the this link to find out all the rules and how the hop works. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire HD!

Contest runs from December 17 to December 20.

The Secret Santa Blog Hop question for my blog is: True or False is Living Half Free a romance novel?

Thank you for stopping by. You can continue hopping by clicking here.


About Haley Whitehall

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. True and False It’s a historical novel with romantic elements 🙂
    Networked Blogs: Cassandra Hicks
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  2. it is a historical romance with ROMANTIC elements

  3. Hi Haley,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about the Yule Log and what it meant to the slaves of Antebellum South. I had no idea. Each year, usually one of the TV stations plays the Yule Log program on Christmas Eve. Oddly, it is a tradition which I took from my parents watching the yule log burn but I didn’t know much about its history. You have given the yule log an extra meaning this year. It really is a piece of history worth keeping kindled. Thank you Haley. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. A historical romance with romantic elements.
    I’m following under my name. 🙂
    kmnbooks at yahoo dot come

  5. I love historical romances and one of my favorites Christmas Romance Books is The Untamable Rogue by Annette Blair! The story is about Ashford Blackburne Fifth Earl and he has to get married and get his willing bride pregnant before Christmas or his grandfather won’t let him inherit his money. Ash truly needs to inherit the money because his late father squandered it all away and he is taking care of his mother. After getting stood up at the alter, again, Ash and his friends go to the local pub where the owner plays a drunken Ash in a card game…his consolation prize is the pubs daughter Larkin, who he wants to get ride of. Ash has to learn to forgive…Larkin has to learn how to trust…can two completely different people find love together. This is a cute, extremely funny, romantic story with a surprise Christmas ending!

  6. The Yule Log xmas program dates and times are shown here:

    I didn’t know they did that!

  7. True: It’s a historic novel with romantic elements. Thanks for the yule log tidbits 😀

  8. i like the sound of it
    the answer is true
    networkedblogs kimberly
    kaholgate at ymail dot com

  9. Living Half Free is a historical novel with romantic elements. It sounds like an interesting read.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  10. Looks great! Thanks for the Awesome Hop!

  11. Great Christmas history lesson.

  12. I am so glad I found you on this hop. I love historical fiction..I learn so much from it and get a good story to boot. I will be checking out your other books. I did not know that about the yule log, thank you for sharing all of that Hope your holidays are full of warm memories and laughter. I think it will be fun dollowing you.
    It is a love story not a romance.

  13. Historical novel with romantic elements. Thanks for the gret hop. I follow by newsletter.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  14. No, not a romance a love story. Followed. Happy Holidays,

    mslasha at gmail dot com

  15. Fascinating insight into the use of the Yule log here in the US–I had no idea! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  16. Hello, thanks for the giveaway! It’s a historical fiction with romantic elements.

  17. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! And its a historical novel with romantic elements. Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!
    Networked Blog: Shadow Kohler

  18. follower
    No it is not, it is a love story. It sounds like he is going to have a hard choice to make.
    Merry Christmas.
    seawitchreviews at yahoo dot com

  19. What an interesting post, I didn’t know that about the Yule Log!

    Hae a wonderful Christmas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *