Archive for December 20, 2017

Festive and Fun Ways to Welcome in the Winter Solstice on a Budget

It is time to finally say goodbye to autumn and to welcome in the winter solstice. Many people often have this day come and go without recognition, but if you would like to help celebrate the season there are many ways for first timers or even recurrent celebrators to help make this occasion special. With all of the holidays happening at once, you might not feel like you have the budget to add in another one. However, this holiday can be one of the most frugal you’ll find. It will also help you and your family feel more in tune with the planet. So, get ready to enjoy the winter solstice on the December 21st without worrying that your budget can’t keep up.

1. Learn about cultural celebrations
In many countries, the winter solstice actually brings lots of holiday fun and traditions. You might want to look up some information to see what kind of cultural traditions everyone shares on this day. You may even want to try a few out if you have the time or budget. There are often festivals to help bring in the winter months too, so it might be cool to watch some of the amazing shows that are performed at these. Some cultures have interesting stories surrounding their winter solstice celebrations. For instance, in Australia, they tell the story of Krampus, which might be a fun story to tell around the campfire to older children. You will be surprised by all of the fun information that you find though, so make sure to embrace it in order to add fun to your occasion.

2. Rediscover Santa Claus
Believe it or not, but Santa Claus didn’t get his start when the Christmas holiday began. Rather, he had been around for many decades prior to this holiday’s existence. You can find a variation of Santa Claus in so many cultures too, so you might want to look into all of the amazing information available on the holiday icon. Doing this can help children see even more magic in the holiday as it will show them Santa Claus is connected to people across the globe and he has deep roots in the past. It will also help to bring him to life with an actual history of the man. You might be surprised to read that one of the earliest adaptations began with the Pagan’s celebration of the winter solstice.

3. Enjoy a Yule Log
Yule logs are one of the most used traditions for this holiday. The logs are designed to last all night long, which helps light up the home while adding extra warmth to your evening. This can even cut down on your heating costs, which will be a nice gift to you as winter moves in more rapidly. Generally, it is tradition to save a piece of the yule log to help light next year’s log, so be careful when cleaning out your fireplace. You can actually make your own yule log, if you want to save money in this manner. There’s many tips online, which can help you. Of course, if you don’t want to spend money on the log or you simply don’t have a place to burn it then there are lots of yule log videos to help get you through the night. Apart from that, you can also make a yule cake to help create a delicious treat that represents the tradition.

4. Lights Out
Another great tradition for this holiday is to actually turn out your lights for the night. This is to help everyone appreciate the light the sun brings in each day. Of course, you don’t have to sit in the dark all night long. This can be difficult in today’s world, especially if you have children that are afraid of the dark. So, you might want to collect your candles, flash lights and other sources of light to help make the home comfortable. The important thing is to ditch electronics and other forms of light for the night. You can play games and talk to keep busy. If you want to add even more tradition to the evening, then you can always make solstice lanterns too. This makes great d├ęcor and will keep the kids excited for the holiday. There’s lots of ideas for this craft online too, so have some fun with it.

5. Enforce Bonding Time
Like most holidays, the winter solstice is a great time to spend with family. This is a great holiday to allow everyone to unwind from their personal life and have everyone reconnect as a family. Try pulling out some board games to help make the hours fly by. You can even make lots of great snacks together and share stories about what has been going on in your lives. Since many people don’t celebrate winter solstice, this is a great time to reconnect with just your immediate family, as most holidays involve extended family and friends.

6. Decorate the Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree is actually another Christmas tradition that began with the celebration of the winter solstice. This holiday tradition also began as a pagan form of celebration as people would decorate trees with food in order to win the favors of the spirits associated with winter. So, if you haven’t already done so, the winter solstice might be the perfect time to decorate your tree. If you want to add more tradition to this holiday fun, then you can make sun ornaments out of orange peels and other simplistic supplies to represent the love of the light. You might also consider making other natural ornaments.

7. Candle Ceremony
The candle ceremony is another popular option for those who want to celebrate the winter solstice. This is another frugal option too as all you need to participate in the ceremony is candles. You can make your own candles, use what you have or buy some cheap ones from a department store. You will need one large candle though that will be lit first. The ceremony begins when night falls. The lights in the home are turned out for a few minutes so that everyone can embrace the darkness that winter brings. Then, someone lights the large candle in the center of the table. From that point on, everyone takes turns lighting the smaller candles. Each time a candle is lit a blessing for the new season or year is given. If you want to add even more to the ceremony, then you can complete it with a song. There are many traditional songs you can find online if you’re not sure where to start.

8. Go Caroling
Back in the day, many pagans would celebrate the winter solstice by wassailing. This was the process of caroling in the fields to ward off spirits. However, in this day and age people tend to go caroling in order to spread holiday cheer. Of course, not everyone has fields to sing in, so it is just easier to go door to door bringing joy to the community. You can choose a wide variety of songs to sing while you’re out, which can include Christmas songs as well as those simply involving the season. All you have do is have some fun with it. It will also help kill some of the hours you planned on spending with your lights out.

9. Stay Up All Night
A lot of people who celebrate the winter solstice like to stay up all night in order to embrace the full length of the time. To them, seeing the sun come back in the morning is a true gift of the season. So, you might want to consider this to enjoy your winter solstice too. Of course, if you have to work the next day or have small children then this might not be an option for you. Instead, you may just want to have everyone wake up before the sun comes up, so everyone can watch the sun rise together. In order to make staying up all night worth the effort, you may want to plan a lot of activities to help the day fly by. Games, snacks and more can help time pass quickly. You might also want to use this time to do some star watching. There are lots of beautiful astronomical occurrences during this time, but make sure you stay warm while watching them.

10. Have a Feast
The winter solstice is a great time to have a feast as a way to celebrate. You don’t have to go all out like you might do during other holidays though. This might overwhelm the body and the budget. Instead, place fresh fruits and vegetables on the table for people to eat. You might also add seasonal foods and nuts to help create a balance. Of course, homemade breads are also a real treat during this time. Another popular item to add to the mix is mulled wine or even mead. Hot cocoa or warm teas might be a great idea for younger attendees.

Celebrating the winter solstice is a great way to have some fun while connection you to the planet. These ten ideas will help you begin your celebration while ensuring you don’t spend a fortune on the holiday. The events may even help you feel more connected to the world you live in, which might spur ideas as to how to make it a better place.