Winter Solstice- The Lost Holiday

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This year solstice is Dec 21st. I know Christmas kind of steals this awesome days thunder but I believe winter solstice is something to not just recognize but to celebrate! It is the first day of winter and longest night of the year, which provides promise of longer days. New beginnings. There are a lot of deeper spiritual ways you could read into this. The colder it gets the more desolate nature becomes. Everything around you begins to slow down (after the hustle of the holidays of course), become still, and silent. Many believe it’s a time to look inward, to reflect on the past year, meditate, and let go of what doesn’t serve your higher self.

I love every season. They all are filled with their own unique magic. But there is something about winter that really fills my heart. The love and gratitude that surrounds the holidays and the nakedness that is the nature surrounding us- all of the glitz is stripped away and a raw mother earth is cloaked in snow, there is something so pure about it.

There are some great ways to celebrate Winter Solstice. Both big and small.

We are celebrating the best way we know how- by taking a guided night snowshoe trek with a bonfire, drinks, food, and good people who share our interests. This was actually our Christmas gift from my family and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the night! It is a tour through REI and I am pretty stoked to share with you all how it goes.

The next morning we are headed out again this time with our family. We are snowshoeing, then enjoying a nice lunch around a campfire.

I compiled a list of some ways you could recognize the day but really you could celebrate anyway you would like. You can’t go wrong when your intentions are good.

1.       Create your own releasing bundle and have a ceremony.

This one may sound intimidating but it’s a cleanse and a symbol of letting go. The bundle should be created using cotton or hemp fabric, filled with herbs such as tobacco, sage, lavender, and a slip of paper you have written your release wish on. You then tie the bundle up with a natural rope (ie: hemp), and when you are ready throw it in a fire.

If you do not want to do the full bundle you can simply write your wish down on paper and burn it. I believe it’s all in the mind setting.

2.       Burn yourself a Yule log

Usually when you think Yule log you think Christmas but this was actually a Pagan tradition to celebrate Winter Solstice. If you want to be traditional you would go into the woods with your entire family in search of the biggest baddest oak log you could find, then, you would take a cleansing bath- I like where this is going-, sit in total darkness (this symbolizes the great darkness of the day), light up the log and ask mother goddess for blessings.

Honestly, this sounds like one super peaceful evening and I am all for sitting by a fire with my family!

3.       Create winter decorations

Have you ever seen the dried orange slice garland? This is something I have recently become obsessed with and plan on making myself! Not only is it affordable, but it’s a fun craft idea you can do with kiddos, and make your house smell fantastic. Here is a link to some instructions.

Other fun easy craft ideas are making snowflakes, painting winter scenes, creating a family winter story, create lanterns- here is a website to provide more awesome crafts to do with kiddos.

4.       Chase snowflakes

Pack your family up and find some snow for the day! There are so many awesome winter activities for all levels of fitness: snowshoe, board, ski, sled, a snowball fight, ice skating. I get giddy just thinking about it, there is nothing I love more than bundling up warm and getting out in the cold!

5.       Stay up all night

I opt out of this one but some people enjoy celebrating the darkest day of the year by staying up to welcome the light. It seems like such a wonderful night, and something I would be all for if I didn’t have a toddler who was up at 7 whether I slept or not.

6.       Host a dinner

This one if for my decor friends! Invite your loved ones over for an evening of food and yummy drinks. If you want to be extra festive eat by candle light and embrace the day! Maybe even have a Yule Log for dessert?

7.       New year, new me

Set intentions and start reaching your goals before January 1st, it’s never too early to start fresh. This doesn’t have to be a huge life changing goal but one that betters you as a person. It could be as simple as establishing a daily routine, trying a new activity, finally ending toxic relationships or embracing new good ones

8.       Read a winter book

This feels pretty self explanatory.. but if it isn’t- there are a lot of cute childrens books that are centered around the winter season: The shortest day by Wendy Pieffer is one example.

 

There are so many more awesome activities to do but if you can’t find the time just remember- today is meant to be about family, self reflection, and welcoming the light into our lives. I hope you all have a wonderful Winter Solstice and have the opportunity to embrace everything this day symbolizes.

Stay inspired,

Mandi

Amanda Yandrasits