At 12:30am this morning, Winter officially began! The night between December 21-22 is the longest night of the year and we were excited to prepare for this holiday.
First, we made a Yule Log. G-man found this piece of birch in our neighborhood and drilled holes in it to mount the candles. Birch wood symbolizes new beginnings.....very fitting. The kids decorated it with beads, glitter, and Pointsettia flowers. We displayed it on a bed of evergreen branches from our Christmas Tree. The gold ornaments represent the Sun, who has now been reborn.
We also created our Fairy Houses. These were hung outside, so that the tree fairies have a place to rest and get out of the cold of Winter. Sassy made sure to include a blanket. G-man made a few that looked like they were leaning, and we decided to pay homage to his deceased father, and call them The Shed, and The Boat Pad. The shed is just like his dad's shed....full of paper, rags, and junk! And the Boat Pad....nuff said.
|The Boat Pad|
We also strung cranberries and popcorn to sustain the animals through out the winter.
Last night, instead of our usual reading, we read about the Winter Solstice. We read two children's books: The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson, and The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer. The kids loved both. We talked about the traditions of the the Solstice, and how they relate to things we do now (candles, the evergreen tree, the lights). I enjoyed reading the books to them, and it was so wonderful to have them ask questions. They continued to discuss it between them, even after I finished reading.
And lastly...we welcomed the Sun again by ringing our Yule Bells at official sunrise (7:15am) this morning!!!
Happy Winter! Blessed Be.