December 21: The Winter Solstice arrived at 7:04 this morning. It may be my favorite winter holiday! It’s about celebrating the Dark, the Quiet, the Cozy Indoors, the Story. It’s about the long winter’s nap. Yes!
It is also the genesis for many of the Christmas traditions we celebrate: The Yule Log and the Christmas Tree (and even certain of our favorite carols “The Holly and the Ivy” and stories – animals spoke at midwinter long before they did on Christmas night and you recognize the reference in the first paragraph, I’m sure!)
One of my favorite MidWinter tasks is the Outside Peace Tree. Gather unsalted PopCorn, cranberries, along with a needle and some thread; birdseed, suet and some netting and ribbons and call your friends. Make some glögg or hot chocolate. Make some popcorn for y’all to eat. Turn on some Holiday Music. Light the Christmas Tree lights. Then. Make swags of popcorn and cranberries. Make little net bags filled with suet and some with birdseed. Go find a lovely tree outside and hang the “ornaments” as offering to the animals.
The MidWinter Myth is that the MidWinter Tree was a tree of Peace, dedicated to the wayfarers and the injured. Who ever ate from that tree or took shelter was safe from all predators for as long as they were there. Lovely, eh? You can do something for someone else during this season and make it a tradition! That will be building holiday traditions and your marriage, because marriages where the couple works together on outside interests thive, particularly if they’re things that take care of of others.
Tip: And then send all your friends home and go cuddle up for a long winter’s nap. You’ll be glad you did!