It’s December 21st, a day many of us are celebrating the Winter Solstice. How do you celebrate this day?

As I write this, the sun is shining and it is about 28 degrees where I live, in Buffalo, NY. I can’t think of more perfect weather to celebrate this day! This is the shortest day of the year and longest night. It celebrates a rebirth of sorts – interesting how it comes a few days before we celebrate the birth of Christ.

I don’t know much about this celebration, but what I do know is that for me and for many, it celebrates the coming of winter. A welcoming of the quietness that snow brings to the earth when it covers itself in a blanket of white. The sounds get muffled, we wrap ourselves in blankets and we hibernate, in our own ways. That looks different for everyone.

I have always loved winter, for the new sweaters , coats and boots that come out in the fashion magazines and the coziness of home that it symbolizes. But as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate and celebrate the coming of winter with this day with Mother Nature. Another chance to tune into her, to Spirit, to God. To listen to the earth, to God telling us that we must stop, calm our hearts and souls and prepare ourselves for internal work and for rest.

I know you are thinking, “oh my God” this is Christmas week, how could I possibly take some time to stop, rest and celebrate a Winter Solstice? You can, even if it is for 10 minutes of your day.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice also means a sign of HOPE.  From this day forward, the days get longer, the sun shines more hours, the seeds and plants in the ground are preparing to bloom for the coming spring. So, as you celebrate this day, in your prayer or meditation, think on HOPE.  For brighter days ahead, for your dreams to come true and manifest themselves in a time of Spring.

Here is some ways that people from ancient times have celebrated this day:

foods made from what they could gather, like acorns and berries and as this tradition evolved , Europeans used ginger for gingerbread, some folks made fruit soup (doesn’t sound enticing to me), and others made shortbread.

bonfires ( I would love to do this tonight, but have a very small yard!)

exchange wreaths made out of fresh greenery , like Holly and pine.

 Yule logs made from oak, ash or pine, decorating them with berries, seeds or holly and then burning them in the evening A piece of the log would be saved as a starter for next years celebration as well.

And Wassail! Haha, this is one of my favorites! And here is a link for a recipe that looks yummy!

Here is how I will celebrate it this year- I will light some candles, with a piece of Holly and the birch logs from my fireplace and say some silent prayers of peace and serenity and for God/Spirit to bring more kindness and healing to the world.

How are you Celebrating the Winter Solstice? Share your celebrations in the comments section! I would love to hear from you!



Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash