Twas the Night Before Solstice

We generally celebrate the winter solstice in a few ways, but I’m looking for ideas to add to our list.

On the shortest day of the year, December 21, we try to focus our celebration on food and on light.

We try to wake before dawn and walk the neighborhood with flashlights to greet the faraway sun. We also do this after dinner so we can help the sun get stronger for the next day. Every bit of light helps the sun get the idea of coming closer, bigger, and warmer, right?

During the day of the solstice we make and hang pine cone feeders for the birds and squirrels (shortest day means less time for them to find food). We bring food and toys to the animals at the local shelter. And we bake throughout the day and eat our warm goodies outside. A short, cold day means we need as much vitamin D as the sun can dole out.

And because Spouse and I agree we want to spread the gifts as much as we can through December, we exchange a few gifts on Winter Solstice. The small stuff comes during Hanukkah, other small stuff in Christmas stockings. Our real gift, if there is one, comes on Solstice.

So that’s it. Walk with lights, give animals food, bake, and exchange gifts.

Feels a bit anemic, though for a day that needs some extra warmth. Do you have something special for solstice (or Christmas Eve, for we’ll willing steal from that similarly “on the verge of” December holiday)? Anything you think we should add to our Solstice traditions?

Whatever you do…

…do NOT cave in when they ask, after opening stockings Christmas eve, for just one piece of chocolate.

Grandma, you’ll rue the day you put candy in our kid’s Christmakkah sock.

That toddler had a small chocolate Santa (sure, enormous considering his size, but, still, after a full dinner and the whole confection he asked for more, which is a sign it was less than the one ounce of chocolate he gets each Friday). And he has been singing to himself in his bed, at full volume, in a tykebuddy-in-full-winter-garb-lit room, for 78 minutes. And counting. Invented songs, y’all. Not Christmas classics or Summer Lovin’ or something. Total improv genius he is, btw.

I know that theobromine is not caffeine. But I’ve seen the structure and I’ve seen the effects. And that shit is identical in a three year old body. I’ve drugged my child with mass marketed toxic substances. I’m totally gonna be the cool parent in high school. (For those who know me, ba ha hahahahaha ha. That’ll be the day.)

New rule. No chocolate within eight hours of bed. Unless you’re mommy. Then chocolate only if accompanied by liquor. Mmmmm. Hot chocolate with liquor.

Gotta go so I can be loaded while listening to the toddler carolling.