Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Solstice

In our house we celebrate Solstice and Christmas. Eric and I grew up (separately, of course) with the happy magic of Christmas Eve - dancing sugarplums, our so-excited-we-could-hardly-sleep little selves stuffed into new Christmas pajamas that were always opened on Christmas Eve, early mornings (or very late for Mamas and Daddies), feeling giddy when it -like magic- started to snow on Christmas Eve... you know all about it.
We still celebrate Christmas with our families, and Santa comes to our house on Christmas Eve.

And... we celebrate Solstice.
Solstice speaks to us in a spiritual and philosophical way that honors our personal beliefs. Winter Solstice naturally impresses upon us long gazes, wrapped up warmth, and introspection. Going within when the world is quiet and cold outside reminds us of our devotion to and love for the natural world, and it connects us more firmly to our fellow man. It deepens our connection to every Thing and to every One - reminding me of who and what I truly long to Be.

The time around these two holidays looks like about a week of giddiness and goodies and presents and so much happy energy and I love all of it. A week of frosting cookies and sipping cocoa and opening pretty packages suits me to perfection - not only because I am a creature who can't stand to wait any longer to give presents, but because I find spreading the love over a week instead of a single morning also suits me rather well-ly.

I'll share what Winter Solstice can or has or may look like in our home.
My solstice gifts are anything to me that seems appropriate. Hats, gloves, boots, ski pants, scarves - things to be experienced with Nature... and also special things. This year my solstice gift to Madeleine is a beautiful china teapot with matching cup.
We've opened Audobon books, ski goggles, thermals, science kits - whatever seems right.

Solstice happens this year at our house at 10:47am. (17:47 Universal time on the 21st.)

Sunday I plan to dry orange and apple slices so that we can string them on Solstice with cranberries, and hang them around our trees and gardens, and I think it would be nice to take some to our small neighborhood field to offer for animal friends.

Sunday night when the sun goes down we'll light a new candle nested in glass and put it on the front porch to encourage the Sun and keep it company.

We'll probably switch off the lamps, and live with candles and holiday lights for the evening - on the longest night of the year.

Friends have invited us to come to see the sunrise with them (7:48am here), and we may very well do that. We'll take their gifts to them if we do.

We may make special Prosperity Pinecones for friends and families who use fire to heat their homes over the winter.

We'll probably build our gingerbread house (from a kit).

We may make sun and star sugar cookies.
Or a Sun Cake. (Want to share the recipe here, Aub?)

We may make peppermint wreaths to hang on the tree.

Maybe more glittery five-pointed paper stars.

If we had an indoor fireplace we would definitely burn a Yule log that we made ourselves... and possibly sleep in front of it. If the babies want to, we'll make one with a red, green, and white candle - decorated with pine, cedar, rosemary, and holly.

We'll make Magick Reindeer Food.
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of red or green sugar crystals.
If you choose to bottle this and gift friends with it, you can include this poem:

Be sure to take this magic food and sprinkle it on the lawn,
Santa's reindeer travel miles before the dawn.
The smell of oats and glitter path will guide them on their way

And you'll wake up to Santa's gifts the very next day!

We may make bird cookies or sweet potato balls for the birds.

We'll fill all the birdfeeders to the brim.

I may make a special candle for a home blessing.

We may make paper snowflakes.

We'll probably read about the science of Solstice, and the turning of the sun.
And we'll probably check out how people have been honoring Solstice for thousands and thousands of years.

We may decide to make holiday goodies for neighbors,

and we'll definitely open a couple of gifts when Daddy gets home from skiing.

Other ideas are pomander balls, applesauce and cinnamon ornaments, bread puddings, borax crystal snowflakes (they're so fast!), snowmen crafts, a wreath of pine boughs (for burning at the Summer Solstice bonfire), volunteer service, anonymous donations, sachets, and dream pillows.

Whether you celebrate Solstice or not - we wish you all the warmth and Joy of the season.

Happy Holidays to you!


  1. We are kindred spirits Stephanie. I could have written this post, except for sleeping by the fire for the night. I love that idea. And I'm very curious about the sweet potatoes balls for the birds. I just lOVE this time of year. Enjoy your week with your beautiful family! -Lisa

  2. We celebrate both as well. Thank you for sharing *so many* wonderful ideas, I will definitely tuck some away, and play with some next week!

    My daughters will be gone all day Monday (unavoidable), which is bothersome, but we hope to make Tuesday (and the rest of the week) very special indeed...

    Many many blessings to you this Solstice and Holiday season!

  3. Lovely post, i enjoyed reading it very much. It is so appropriate to celebate both as 3 days after the solstice - which usually happens to be Christmas Day, the days are noticeably longer, about 9 minutes overall. The druids used to come back after their observations and tell the people the sun had returned - then they would celebrate. You are certainly tapping into that ancient seam. x

  4. We celebrate both Winter Solstice and Christmas as well. Both are very special to us, as I can see they are for your family. It's all about being together and being thankful and being mindful. And love and light and laughing. And all the good stuff.

    Happy Winter Solstice to you and your family Stephanie. xoxo

  5. So many wonderful ideas Stephanie! I wish you and your family a very happy Winter Solstice.

  6. We celebrate both as well....

    It was lovely to read your post and you've given me some lovely ideas to add to our usual collection.....

    ~a blessed Solstice and happy Christmas to you and your family~

  7. It's so wonderful to see others who honor the Solstice...such a special time of the year. I love all of your activities! What are prosperity pinecones? Happy Solstice!

  8. What a wonderful list of exciting things to do to celebrate. I love the idea of lighting a candle outside to keep the sun company. Very sweet.


  9. Lovely, lovely post, Steph!

    I just got peppermints a few days ago for those very wreaths! It's funny, when you read blogs of those with similar desires, your lives seem to flow at the same pace with much of the same scenery.

    I've been poring over Circle Round to get ideas for Solstice. I'm excited for it.

  10. Beautiful, thoughtful traditions with lots and lots of fun and togetherness. We love both these as well. Seasons blessings, Stephanie.

  11. All of the celebrations sound lovely. :)

  12. Lovely post. We are also celebrators of both Holidays! I know your Winter Solstice was wonderful and I wish you much fun Christmas morning. Oh and we are so making reindeer food tomorrow.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!