It’s the Winter Solstice!

Deep peace of the winter solstice to you.
Deep peace of the falling snow to you.
Deep peace of the love of friends to you.
Deep peace of the gentle deer to you.
Deep peace of the moon and stars to you.
—Author Unknown 

Today is the Winter Solstice and we had a little flurry of snow this morning to help us get into the spirit.  Christmas is only four days away and I’ve been busy trying to get the house in order and wrap presents.  I did what I said I would and went much lighter on gifts this year compared to years before but I think I could have even done less and the girls would have had plenty.  It’s a work in progress toward true simplicity, I guess.

Over the next six months, the sun will climb higher and higher into the sky, gradually stretching our days longer and warming our earth. This winter solstice, you can enjoy simple acknowledgments of this special time by creating a winter nature table filled with objects that remind you of this time of year, crafting and making winter works of art (we have so many beautiful crafts in our Winter Festivals E-Book if you need inspiration) and making the decision to slow down and be mindful of what is going on both inside and outside of you right now.

A really simple activity to do with children of all ages is stringing berries and popcorn to make garland.  Today or tomorrow would be a perfect time to do this as it will stay fresh toward Christmas day.  You can place this garland as a treat for the birds outside or decorate your indoor tree with them.  All you need is popcorn, cranberries, a needle and thread.  Children will work for hours on this and it is a wonderful way to practice fine motor skills for little ones.  Just keep an eye on the needle but you will be surprised how careful, gentle and capable our children are when given tasks that require their attention like this.

As I go back to my preparations, I leave you with this sweet reminder of why the work we do as parents and caregivers is so important in our hope to one day see peace in our world.  Something that seems so unattainable lately but I still believe change can happen:
If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
—Chinese Proverb 

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