I’ve been meaning to take time to write about how we spend our holidays and what we’re doing for Solstice. This is the first year that we’re actively celebrating a winter holiday and after a such a meaningful Samhain (celebrated around the same time as Halloween), I’m really looking forward our first Winter Solstice.
Of course many of you have seen that I’ve been crazy busy working on a countdown calendar and I thrilled to say I’ve finished…. at least finished enough for the holiday. Next I’ll add buttons to the fabric to hang the pieces on and then I’d like to add some smaller details with embroidery, like ground (grass etc) and hills (for the bear to be placed on). I’d still like to add a backing to give the pieces more structure and hide the embroidery thread and I also need pockets to hold all the pieces. Click on the picture to see it up close with notes on what the pieces are and what day they show themselves.
I’ve looked for inspiration online for more secular activities and traditions but with little luck. We aren’t Christian or Pagan or any other religion but we are enjoying being inspired by the ways our ancestors celebrated these different holidays before they were Christianised and then commercialised. Thankfully I have at least one book on hand to offer some suggestions on how we can celebrate the shortest day of the year.
Solstice symbolises a turning point where the days start to get longer again almost like the beginning of a new year. Celebrating this time of year is helping make our dark days not seem so dismal. It’s a time to spend indoors reenergising with more time to sleep. We get to reconnect with each other being in close quarters and work on quiet projects. I’ve noticed with my embroidery work getting done, my kids have been drawing, reading and quietly pretend playing quite a bit. Lily’s skill in drawing in particular has really grown and I notice her adding little details that look a lot like what you’d do if you’re embroidering.
In the next day or two, the kids and I plan to make an Apple Chain out of paper to hold our memories for the year. We also hope to make sweet “Wish Bread” where we talk and think about our hopes for the coming year. Other neat foods to make at this time of year are Meringue Cookies, Chocolate Cookies, Sun Custard, Sun Cereal with Polenta and Snow Candy with Maple Syrup. I’ll make an effort to share the recipes and some pictures of these and any other activities we do before Solstice in case any of you are interested in trying yourselves.
Do you celebrate Solstice? What are some of your traditions?