Winter Solstice 2013

So it’s been a few days since the Sun hit the low/dark point of her annual cycle. We held our usual shindig while the snow piled up outside. Lit a LOT of candles – including a bunch of red ones in our spiffy new-to-us chandalier (a gift from a friend who was moving house). Much shortbread was eaten, much sortilege was drunk, and a good time was had by all.
I now have a fridge so full of fancy food I have to be really careful with the menu planning so that I don’t forget what we’ve got. (It’s too easy to just say “Screw it” and graze on shortbread cookies and sugar-glazed nuts all day).
It’s funny. We didn’t decorate nearly as much as we did last year. Part of this is because one of my (plastic) holly garlands is falling apart before my eyes. I’m sure that a few minutes with a glue gun would solve that problem, but I’m wondering if I should just pull it apart and string the leaves on something a little sturdier (like feather-weight aluminum chain or finger-knitted yarn[1], or something).
The other part, quite possibly, is just feeling “tired”. Tired as in “lethargic”. Tired as in “uninspired”.
This time last year, we were still in the process of moving into our new apartment. Our solstice shindig was blended with our wedding reception. This year, it’s been eight months of my poor wife working herself to exhaustion at multiple jobs and me being scattered and distracted and chasing a million different things (although that’s not actually all that unusual for me), which family (of origin) plans have been up in the air until the last possible minute for all of us.
Plus we have more family members than we did last year. Last year, my wife’s other partner spend Xmas even and morning with us, taking part in my family-of-origin’s festivities. This year, she’s in Manhattan (conveniently), but Ghost’s GF/Submissive (they are coming up on their first anniversary, too, fyi) is pretty clearly becoming One Of The Family and that will most likely add extra complications to any planning we do in future.
It’s interesting to watch us build our traditions. What elements take center stage, what we bring in from our childhoods and what we create ourselves.
I like giving presents. But it feels like less of a thing this year than it has in years past (maybe that will seesaw for a while, or maybe that’s just going to be a thing that we do – or don’t do as the case may be – for the foreseeable future).
Sortilege, for sure.
Candles, for sure – with a goal of making enough from beeswax that using up a few dozen in one nights won’t be such a big deal.
Altars lit, of course.
Ancestor Plate… Maybe? We didn’t do it this year, but I could see it being part of the festivities in years to come.
Friends and chosen phamily in attendance, for sure.
Buckets of rich food and booze, definitely.
Will we ever do a masquerade? I doubt it. I’d kinda like to, but I doubt it. Not without a much bigger space and a lot of people willing to play along. It would be a bit of an iffy thing. None the less, it still might happen. (I could see us doing this for our fifth or tenth anniversary, if the timing was right – do a masquerade party that just happens to fall on Winter Solstice Propper as well. That would be a nice way to kick it off, with me as Lady Frost and her as Lady Fire. That could be fun).
I’m not sure that gifts play a major role in these festivities. At least not outside the realm of pot-luck desserts and bottles of wine and similar.
We shall see.

Once More Around the Sun
My Friends and Joy
Unto Us All

Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] It’s not like I don’t have a metric tonne of dark green worsted wool lying around at the moment, right? I could even bind in the golden musical garland stuff that always gets so tangled. Might not be a bad way to go.

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