I’ll be honest: I’m a solid mix between loving astrology, believing in the benefits of burning sage to cleanse negative energy, and stockpiling all the essential gems and rocks to purify my aura, while also thinking it can all become a bit “woo-woo,” and, quite frankly, a little too much for me. Like anything, how we receive information or insight always depends on the source and our own perspectives…
As my action-oriented friend and I say, “What happens after we burn sage?”
So, here we are in the Winter months and word on the streets is that “Winter (Solstice) is coming.”
And, so, I’ve decided to approach it with curiosity, rather than judgement…
What exactly is it? Why do people celebrate it? And how can I celebrate with my kids?
I did a little research for myself and other mamas who are interested in learning why it’s useful (and fun!) for all of us to celebrate and acknowledge this most wintery day.
What is the Winter Solstice?
This year the Winter Solstice happens on December 21, 2016, and is recognized world-wide as the first day of winter, the shortest day, and longest night of the year. (a.k.a. kids are perhaps in bed early?)
It is celebrated by cultures across the globe and has been for thousands of years.
Why do people celebrate it?
People worldwide, across many cultures, have held it as a recognition of renewal and the return of light, involving gatherings, rituals, festivals, and celebrations.
Many cultures view the Winter Solstice as a way to connect with their ancestors, to celebrate their culture, and to acknowledge the power that nature has over their lives; specifically the sun and its’ rhythms.
How can you celebrate with your family?
It can become a wonderful celebration to bring your family together and to celebrate the magic of this time of year without spending a dime. Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate the Winter Solstice:
- You could make a point to watch the sun set (4:39MST, to be exact!), while welcoming the return of the long days of summer.
- Use the day as an opportunity for a teaching moment: Talk about when sun and fire were the only sources of light. After the sunset, turn out all the lights and light only candles. Dinner by candlelight? Brushing teeth in the dark? I don’t know about you, but my kids love this kind of stuff, even if it only lasts a few minutes, giggles abound.
- Go on a nature hunt and collect bits of nature that require the sun and why it gives us all life (pieces of evergreen and pinecones).
- Have each family member make a wish for the upcoming year while lighting a single candle. With each wish the room grows brighter, which is also a symbol of the light returning to our days.
For the first time ever, I’m going to be celebrating the Winter Solstice this year, and I don’t think there is anything “woo-woo” about it. With so much emphasis on other holidays, I view this as a wonderful way to simplify and celebrate what this season is actually all about: togetherness and gratitude for our lives.