Winter Solstice is on December 21 – this is the longest night of the year. Our family celebrates this every year as a way to incorporate an appreciation of Nature and learn about how our world changes throughout the year.
We bake Solstice cookies, which are like sugar cookies (representing the sun) with a Hershey’s Kiss in the center (representing the night). Other years, we’ve decorated sugar cookies with white and dark frosting, or white frosting and brown M&M’s sprinkled across the top. Anything that represents the light/dark theme will work. Those are easy ones for us to do. (I tend to keep things as simple as possible.)
Our decorations are evergreen boughs and pine cones collected on previous forays into Nature. Since Solstice is a Festival of Lights, we also light candles and build a fire in the fireplace.
I like to get the kids outdoors on this day as well; going on a hike, up to Mt. Charleston to play in the snow, anything that gets them outside and surrounded by the beauty of our natural world. In the evening, we read one of the stories from Circle Round; our favorite is A Visit to Mother Winter. We play games, eat popcorn and drink hot chocolate, and the kids stay up as late as they can to try to greet the sun in the morning (which hasn’t actually happened yet, but they like to try).
I like celebrating Solstice because it helps to show our connection to the Earth and to Nature. I think the girls like to celebrate Solstice because they get to open presents before Christmas! But I like to have this as a family tradition, which will grow more meaningful to them as they get older.