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5 Simple Ways To Celebrate Winter

5 Simple Ways To Celebrate Winter

Since I wrote about simple ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice last summer, I figured it was only fitting that I do the same for the Winter Solstice.

Solstice comes from the Latin phrase for “sun stands still” and is the first official day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually falls around December 21 and this year it is on December 22. It is known as the “shortest” day of the year, because it has the shortest number of daylight hours than any other day of the year, which means it also has the longest night of the year.

Winter Solstice also comes in the middle of what is usually the busiest and most stressful time of the year for most people.  Here are a few simple ways to reconnect with the rhythm of the earth that will help you slow down and enjoy the changing of the seasons.

It has been celebrated since ancient times and is often a celebration of light. Once the solstice comes the days begin to get brighter again, and eventually, the summer sunlight returns. So, why not treat yourself to some calming moments focused around this tradition?

Bring more light into the winter solstice by putting luminarias on your front porch or driveway. Or, put them in your backyard and relax by them and an outdoor fire pit with your friends and family.

Even though it is cold, reconnect with nature if only for a few minutes. The healing power of nature is a great way to de-stress and enjoy the season instead of focusing only on the gifts still left to buy, or the big holiday meal yet to come. Take a walk or go snowshoeing. Many communities host special solstice hikes, check to see if there is one near you.

Is it too cold and snowy to go outside? Then sit by the window and watch the snow falling in the fading light as the sun is setting.

Go stargazing. It not only lets you connect to the natural world, but it is another way to observe the celebration of light. You can do this in your own backyard or even just take a walk and look at the stars, or find a local planetarium with a special solstice show.

Make the Winter Solstice a day of contemplation by taking some time out of the day to focus on the change in the earth’s cycle and to slow down your pace. Try to just take some time to simply do nothing, to have complete unscheduled time to relax and rejuvenate. This is especially important during the holidays when our stress level is at its highest. Watch the sunset, or, if the day is sunny and bright, sit outside and feel its warmth for at least a few minutes. Sit out by an outdoor fire pit in the evening and watch the night sky.

Read more: Green, Holidays, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Other Holidays,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
7:51PM PST on Jan 12, 2013

Thanks for the thoughts to help us through.

3:29AM PST on Jan 3, 2013

There must always be reasons to celebrate

7:44AM PST on Dec 23, 2012


3:22AM PST on Nov 21, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

3:35PM PDT on Oct 6, 2012

I love all the season but winter is my season for "reflection" and when my "domesic diva" comes out.......

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Winter Solstice is interesting. Saw the title about "celebrating" winter. Am afraid that it is my least favourite season of the year because it is far too long and far too cold. Having lived much of my life the the world's second coldest national capital I have proudly become a Winter Whimp in my middle age.

Skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa was always a delight and certainly bonfires roasting marshmallows and other tasty things was marvellous but for the most part it has become an annoying season to scrape ice and toss snow off the car, drive in blinding blizzards because one has to or things would never get done...dress up in coats and boots or one will freeze to death. Having had a paper route for 11 years, there are memories of trekking through the coldest of weather but was much younger then.

I do burn candles and hope this melts the season faster. Yes, winter is icy cold with a lot of beautiful scenery but driving in it is a pain, no bus service where I now live... a small town and rural area.

Love to whimper about Winter since this country has no hot spots to go in the season to escape. Parts of the west coast known as Lotus Land has spots where it just rains and the daffodils come out in February while the rest of us freeze in -40C wind chills. B.C. being a mere 4,595 kilometres from here, a long 2 1/2 days car trip.

Living in an apartment can't one can't really luminarias on the balcony or relax in my yard with a delightful fire pit.

After two

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Adding to my comment below...

After two weeks of winter it is time to hibrrrrrrnate and await the warming rays of Spring which takes endless months to arrive. While there are no mosquitoes buzzing about the best thing about Winter is when it leaves.

I do have memories of the 1998 Ice Storm which was a fascinating experience of 13 days without power and a month without a phone but our trusty wood stove kept us nice and warm, safe from evacuation and meals were tasty cooked on the wood stove which had a nice flat surface perfect for pots and pans.

Celebrating a solstice is fine, think of food and candles along with aromatherapy for that!

7:17AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Thanks for the article.

1:46PM PDT on May 30, 2012


1:46PM PDT on May 30, 2012


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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