By: Sung Bin
With the winter solstice approaching next Friday, I thought I would come up with some activities with poems and songs to inspire our family and to usher in the start of winter. Everyone who celebrates does so differently and I wanted to create a ritual and tradition around the solar return and the shortest day of the year. It is also an opportunity to remind ourselves of the power of the natural world that surrounds us. For me, it is a peaceful respite during the holiday season to be able to think more in the dark as I reflect on how much time has passed. I think back with such awe over the last year and how much has changed but also remained the same.
We plan to watch the first sunset of the solstice and pause to remember how human we really are. For my toddler, I found an easy recipe to make at home salt dough ornaments for holiday gifting and decorating as Christmas is a few days after.
Salt Dough for Ornaments
1 Cup Salt
2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cups Water
Combine salt and flour in large bowl. Make a well in the mix and add water. Knead the mix until smooth and use cookie cutters or any shape makers to make your ornaments with the dough. Don’t forget to poke a hole
on the top of your dough ornaments to add the string or yarn. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees in the oven. Paint and decorate when the dough ornaments are cool. (I am going to use rubber stamps on mine such as alphabet stampers to form words like “peace” and “love” before baking). I’m excited to get started
on these with my toddler.
Another tradition we started last year is planting new paper white bulbs in recycled glass jars so we plan to give those out to family and friends to grow in the winter.
Finally, we normally have our dinner by candlelight but for the solstice will add a few additional candles to symbolize the light entering the world and to revel in the stillness of the dark night.
What are your traditions? We'd love to hear from you, comment below!
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