Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Very Special Solstice

On the longest night of the year, our family settled in to experience Winter Solstice. This was our first time to mark the event as a holiday. In our search for specialness, and with our lack of tradition, we latched onto this night as a tangible, natural celebration.

Dark night, bright tree

Lately in Denver, the sun disappears over the Rocky Mountains not long after four thirty in the afternoon. So for us, what better event to invest in, than the returning of longer days? We're lucky to live in a place where the sun shines intensely, and the cloudy days are few, but oh how we've felt the shortness of that warm light these last few months! Yes, Winter Solstice is a logical place for us to begin building a sense of sacredness in our holiday season.

A beautiful, yet early backyard sunset

We live in a newly developed area, so the trees are tiny and sparse, but we still have flocks of birds visit daily. We made them some treats to help them through the cold season. Popcorn garland making is sort of a two in the mouth, one on the string activity, fyi.

Popcorn garland for the feathered friends

Instead of planning an ornate holiday meal, we just made our favorites. Pizza and hamburgers, fried potatoes, and cookies. Lots of cookies!

Peanut butter cookies for the young people

As the night wore on (and on) we watched our current favorite Netflix show, Merlin, and consumed copious amounts of root beer and wine. Merlin is a retelling of the old King Arthur legends! Fabulous family series!

Bubbly spirits for the old people 

All in all, our first time celebrating Solstice was one of the most special nights I can remember. There was a depth to all our activities, as we conversed about nature, and just spent time doing what we love. We exchanged gifts and played with new toys by the tree. We ate and laughed by candlelight. We stayed up into the wee hours and slept in the next day. It was nearly perfect, and I'm so grateful we've found a meaningful tradition to continue year after year.

A celebration of the returning light, special for us all

Wishing you all a very special holiday season. XO


  1. Oh, it sounds (erm..reads?) like a magical night. We'd planned to commemorate the solstice with a late night snow shoe in the forest near our house. But the temperature dipped to -30ºC and we wimped out.

    And thanks for the reco on Merlin. Maybe I'll cuddle up with my boys and try out an episode.

    1. Nan, I wrote a reply to you but it posted as just another comment. And now I can't figure out how to copy/paste from the new laptop. So... just read the next comment, which is to you! :D

  2. Nan, I hope you like Merlin! The first handful of episodes are cheesy, but by episode eight or nine, I was so invested I was regularly crying over the characters! Try to stick with it a bit for a payoff! :D We are in season four now!

    I don't blame you for staying indoors on Solstice! Cold requires cuddling instead of snow shoeing! Be reasonable, woman! XO

    Thanks for the comment, as always, you're so good at that. I know people come look at my posts but rarely comment and I assume I suck. But you make me feel all non-sucky. So thanks! XO

  3. Beautiful rendition of an awesome new tradition for you all! You brought the night to life with your words! Thank you for sharing! Love you - Mom

    1. Thank you for reading! We had a special time and are anxious to repeat some of these things next year :D XO