Hi Everyone! Today is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st!!—and that is good news because it means the days will finally be getting longer again!
Here is a 3-minute video explaining the solstice in simple terms with animation:
But now, as a way to be mindful and enjoy the present, here are some ways we can celebrate the Winter Solstice:
—For the Birds!:
Hang garlands of popcorn and cranberries on the bushes outside for the birds, or pierce an apple with sunflower seeds and hang it in a tree for the birds to enjoy.
-Enjoy a kid friendly warm drink:
Hot Cider: In a large pot or slow cooker heat up some apple cider mixed with orange juice (a 4:1 ratio), ginger, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and sliced oranges to taste.
You can cook it on low for 3-4 hours or on high for 1 to 2 hours. The longer you cook it, the more spiced it will be, and the nicer your home will smell!
-How about a candlelit dinner?
You can make a hearty soup: Make a pot of your favorite or, All Recipes has this yummy carrot and potato warming soup recipe here:
Here is a recipe from Delish for a tasty Yule Log Cake (Büche de Nöel) https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a24276998/buche-de-noel-yule-log-cake-recipe/
-Read a Book!
Here are some chicken’s book recommendations about Winter and the Winter Solstice (From Backwoods Mama)
-A Solstice Tree for Jenny (Young Readers) by Karen Shragg
-Dear Rebecca, Winter Is Here by Jean Craighead George
-Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
-Iliana: A Winter Solstice Taleby Walter Fordham
-One Short Day in December by Lilith Rogers
-Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winterby Eugenie Doyle
-The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
-The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons
-The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice by Carolyn McVickar Edwards
-The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
-The Tomten (Tomte Tumetott) by Astrid Lindgren
-The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson
Make a snowflake crystal ornament to hang in the window: you can use Borax or salt crystals and pipe cleaners. Here is the tutorial from Little Bins Little Hands:
Backwoods Mama also has this lovely tutorial to make a felted lantern:
You will need wool roving and/or batting, a balloon, wool yarn, dish soap, scissors and a candle:
-Take a Hike!
Take a hike or just walk around the neighborhood, and bring flashlights or head lamps to make it more of an adventure. If you made the lantern, you can bring it along!
Enjoy the season and your time with family! Send us a message if you have any other fun traditions you would like to share for the solstice.