Shortly after Michael and I got married, we decided we would celebrate the solstices. The decision had very little to do with any New Age beliefs or anything like that, although I have long been interested in the cosmic and archetypal origins of modern holidays. It was more about starting something new. Our marriage was the start of a new family, and so we wanted to start some new traditions.
Both of us have inherited beautiful holiday customs from our parents. We continue to celebrate those traditions and plan to pass them on to any future children. But especially since those celebrations are so focused on Jesus and Christianity, it was important to have something that was ours, and not theirs.
On the winter solstice, being the longest night of the year, we celebrate light and the fact that the sunlight will start to get longer and longer after the solstice. We deck up the solstice tree with strings of lights and at midnight we light a candle in every window. To celebrate the power of life to sustain itself through the winter, we hang evergreen swags on the doors with sage and holly. We have developed a playlist of solstice music–songs like wassail, wassail–speaking of wassail, we also drink spiced mulled cider as we open the gifts under the tree.
Winter solstice has become our favorite holiday. We look forward to spending Christmas afterwards with our families, but solstice is magical in a different way.
I hope you all had a wonderful winter solstice!