We considered having our annual Winter Solstice party at the ranch this year since the holiday falls on a weekend. However, we tossed the idea out to those we thought might come and it didn’t fly. It is pretty rough spending time at the ranch during the winter months, though Bob and I will do just that starting tomorrow.
Instead, a dozen friends crammed into our little home in Bend. I made a turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy. After eating and gossiping we made our way into tiny living room so we could sing solstice carols. Our sweet next-door neighbor brought his electric keyboard over to keep us in tune while we sang. Alas, we needed a miracle for that to happen. Still, we had a blast. Few people ever go caroling these days and everyone was enthusiastic about the prospect of doing something unique. I was surprised how few guests knew the words or tunes to these old classics and no one in the group had a good, strong voice so our singing was all over the place. I think we laughed as much as sang. I have spent years rewriting the words to many of the most popular Christmas carols, to give them a pagan relevance. Since almost all Christmas traditions–and songs–are rooted in Winter Solstice ritual, the lyrics are often drawn from nature and the symbols of the solstice so the transition is easier that you might expect. I’ve posted several Winter Solstice Carols on this website for all to enjoy.
Since I’m a stickler for celebrating nature based holidays on the actual day it falls, we didn’t do any solstice rituals as we have in year’s past. Some guests were disappointed but the point of celebrating the Winter Solstice is to take advantage of the cosmic energy and you can’t just make that happen at any time. The sun is going to be reborn at a specific time and that is when we should rejoice and tap into this rebirth. Still, it was a wonderful evening and Bob and I didn’t mind staying up past midnight to clean up because it gave us a chance to rehash the evening.
For more on celebrating the Winter Solstice go to Earth Connections: A Guide to Celebrating Nature-based Holidays in the SPIRIT section of this website.