Celebrating Winter Solstice, So Far

Since Mark and I started celebrating Winter Solstice for the winter holiday season my enjoyment of this time of year has increased greatly.  Each year over the past few years we have added to what we do to celebrate this time of year.  Autumn turning to Winter and we mark with celebration the time when the shortest day and longest night give way to more light, as the sun seems to begin its journey of migration back to us here in the Northern Hemisphere after it’s frolicking in the South. We gather fallen greenery, carried to the ground by late autumn winds.  We respectfully harvest a few berry sprigs to add to our decor and to the smorgasbord of tasty treats we put out for the local critters, winged and furry alike. (Even our neighbors cat enjoys little piles of birdseed, odd critter that it is, often chasing the birds away from the bird seed rather than just chasing the birds!)  We weren’t the only ones harvesting berries that day, either!  Robins and a large flock of Ceder Waxwings were busy gobbling up berries too!

We collected fallen pine cones and this year Mark shared a memory from grade school when he learned to smear peanut but on cones and then roll them in birdseed.  It was wonderful messy fun.  We decorated our live Solstice tree that stayed outside this year on our front porch, potted up in a beautiful green planter and adorned with seed smeared cones, berry sprigs and shells hung from string.

 

 

 

 

Then we had lots of fun walking through our neighborhood as the light faded, birdseed bombing with abandon!  We hung seeded cones here and there and left little piles of bird seed to be found by critters.  Our gift to nature, given with lots of giggles and smiles.

 

 

Our house is decorated inside and out with lots of greenery and bright colors and reminders of the gifts of nature.  This year I’ve been folding cranes as part of a meditation practice and they’ve been put to use in all sorts of fun creative ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then on Sunday we had family over to celebrate.  We played games and played on the beach.  We made snowflakes and folded cranes.  We colored and played with play dough – adults and children alike.  We enjoyed each other’s company and the simple spaghetti meal made by my husband and our almost four year old nephew.

 

 

 

 

 

We exchanged gifts as people have over the many long centuries, many lands and many traditions during this time of year.  We all seemed to be thinking along the same line this year with an overwhelming theme of self care, relaxing and wandering in nature being  behind the gifts. Mark and I opened gifts in the morning before family came.  He got me some of the bamboo To Go Ware to keep in my bag – YEAH!  I’ve been wanting a set of these for a while.

 

 

He put together a coupon book redeemable only by me that never expires and can be used as many times as I can remember where I put them!

 

I especially like the coupon for a poetry picnic!  How fun!

Then he really surprised me!  Saturday night he asked me for a crash course on using the sewing machine.  Then he locked himself up in the den for quite along time.  Boy was I surprised by what he made!  A carrying case for my art ink pens!

Now I’m wondering if I can get him to make another for my water color pencils!

We got two awesome coupons from our nephews.  One for a day hike and another for a free bike race!  I am looking forward to cashing these in!

Bike stationary – so appropriate!  It’s from twoguitars.etsy.com.

I’m already enjoying this beautiful nature book by Julie Zickefoose called Letters from Eden.  I can so relate to this woman’s fascination with nature and her art work is wonderful!

These were all from Mark’s sister and brother-in-law.  They also gave us a coupon for a renewal of our Discovery Pass for State Parks and a cute little bird nest ornament complete with a little folklore to go with it!

My in-laws got me a gift certificate for a massage – oh boy oh boy!  Do I ever need that! Mark helped them research a massage therapist that would be scent and chemical free – Thanks honey!

I was stuffed last night when I finally got to look through this cookbook that our in-laws gave us, but that did not keep me from drooling!  This is an amazing vegetarian cookbook and I can’t wait to cook my way through it!  Drooling again even thinking about it!

Mark and I were very happy to get another year of membership to the Seattle Art Museum – we love both the Asian and Downtown museums and they prove to be common dates for us.  Another great gift from the in-laws!

What an amazing fun time celebrating with family!  We’re still looking forward to actual Solstice day when we’ll greet the sun and have a small ritual, but this was a great way to start off the celebrating!

Happy Holidays to everyone and may the sun shine brighter and brighter for you!
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2 responses to “Celebrating Winter Solstice, So Far

  1. Love this documentation of your world! Thank you for my cranes & card, so lovely 🙂 mark – i did the pb/pinecones thing as a kid too! Coupons are awesome- i love giving time & experiences- so much more memorable. PS- you two fit together so well. Big hugs!

  2. This is so lovely! I love your solstice tree! And the bike cards – heck yeah!! Love it all!!

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