Winter Solstice Ideas

The older I get the more disenfranchised I become with the traditional holiday season. More specifically with the commercialism and hustle and bustle that is synonymous with Christmas. Over the years I have been transitioning away from holiday decorating and over spending to focusing more on the things that matter most. In fact, the one and only holiday decoration you will find at my house is the infamous 18″ Charlie Brown Christmas Tree I drag out annually in protest. Last year the Grandkids asked me where my Christmas Tree was and had a hard time believing me when I proudly pointed to the pathetic representation of my “Christmas spirit” on the dining table.

Winter Solstice is the perfect solution to the traditional holiday woes because it is so far removed from the mainstream and offers tons of flexibility. Most importantly celebrating Winter Solstice shifts our focus towards nature, the season and our proper place in the world. Human Beings were never meant to rule over or control planet Earth, but share in its beauty and wonder, learn to live in natural harmony, and provide stewardship and protection for the land and its inhabitants. This is the perfect time of year to reflect on our relationships with nature, others and our relationship with ourselves and the person we wish to become.

I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator so here I am brainstorming ideas with less than two weeks until I gather the family for my official Winter Solstice celebration this year. Here are some things I plan to incorporate as I lead my family to a more Animistic way of life:

Creating Memories for the family:

My main focus this year for the family is to direct their attention away from self-centeredness, stress and the promise of new shiny possessions towards giving back to nature, and creating quality memories together. I plan to set up a craft table for the kids and enlist adult helpers to assist with producing some pinecone bird feeders as seen on Debbie Chapman’s site, One Little Project.

Meaningful gifts come from the heart:

Last year with the help of my son Nate and my forever patient husband Shane we crafted some stained glass jewelry boxes for family gifts. This year we will likely find some other hands-on project to cover the spirit of giving. As I said, we are still transitioning away from Christmas and this is a nice way to put some loving energy into something that will brighten the day of the receiver and bring me joy in the process. More brainstorming is needed so I suspect I will be rushing to the craft store for inspiration – this gives me an excuse to visit my favorite craft shop.

Sharing our connection with Nature:

I am thinking about sharing The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein with the Grandchildren this year as a beautiful introduction to our connection with nature. I have always had a soft spot for the story but am not sure I can get through reading it without crying. Additionally I will encourage the family to share stories of our many adventures in the outdoors and our mutual love for our home in the Inland Northwest.

These are a few family friendly suggestions to transition away from the traditional holiday gatherings. I will share more ideas about embracing a more Animistic lifestyle in future posts. Meanwhile, what are you doing this year to celebrate the Solstice?