The ninth night of Yule is sacred to Odin. A good way to commemorate the day is by reading and contemplating the Hávamál. Children can learn about the Allfather through books like D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths or Gods & Heroes from Viking Mythology by Brian Branston. One of the names of Odin is Jólfaðr – “Yule Father”. Many people believe that Odin was the prototype for the modern Santa.
Our small ritual feast includes Rinderrouladen and other favorites. Toasts and libations are made, poems read, and songs played. A great resource for the poems and songs, of course, is the Odin’s Gift website, but for just listening, or Odin’s night “ambiance”, there’s music by Hymir’s Kettle, Carved in Stone, and Wadruna.
This is an excellent night for studying the runes and divining omens for the year ahead. There’s a nice introduction to the runes for kids in How to Be a Viking by Ari Berk.