Most people think of winter solstice as just another day marking the changing seasons – but it is so much more! It can be a day of making memories with your family and friends just like any other celebration. It can be a great social gathering with new foods, recipes and activities to enjoy with friends and family.

It’s not based on any one specific culture or religion and it has been celebrated for thousands of years. Winter Solstice is simply this: “the time of the longest night and the shortest day. The dark triumphs but only briefly. For the Solstice is also a turning point. From now on (until the Summer Solstice, at any rate), the nights grow shorter and the days grow longer, the dark wanes and the Sun waxes in power.”¹

Simply put, it’s the shortest day of the year and symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings because the days will now become longer.

This year winter solstice is on Sunday, December 21, 2014.

 

The beautiful trees with a fresh dusting of snow in our backyard last year on Winter Solstice in Montana.

The beautiful trees with a fresh dusting of snow in our backyard last year on Winter Solstice in Montana.

 

Last year was the first year we “celebrated” Winter Solstice. My husband had to work so it was just me and my 2 year old son. We played outside in the snow (we lived in Montana at the time), gathered pine cones and some evergreen to decorate the house.

 

The electricity went out with about 15 minutes left to cook my cranberry bread. So, I improvised!

The electricity went out with about 15 minutes left to cook my cranberry bread. So, I improvised!

 

Tells the story of how and why cultures from around the world celebrated the winter solstice for hundreds of years.

Tells the story of how and why cultures from around the world celebrated the winter solstice for hundreds of years.

I baked a delicious gluten free cranberry bread that morning. We made popcorn and cranberry garland for our christmas tree, read stories and books like “The Winter Solstice” and kept the TV off all day. It just so happened that the electricity went out in our town for a couple of hours so it was calm and quite – I loved it! Since we had a gas stove and two gas fireplaces we stayed nice and warm while the power was out.

Delicious gluten free solstice pie!

Delicious gluten free solstice pie!

After the power came back on I started making a Winter Solstice Pie – I used frozen leftover turkey from Thanksgiving along with parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, onions and kale. It was delicious! We lit candles and sang holiday songs together, too. It was such a special day to share with my then only son.

This year I’m planning on doing much of the same we did last year except we probably won’t be playing in the snow since we’re living in Tennessee. I’m also inviting family members over since they live here as well. You could also use this theme to put a healthy spin on your own traditional holiday party with these recipes 🙂

Winter Solstice/Healthy Holiday Menu Ideas:

Breakfast

Lunch/Dinner

Dessert

 

Solstice Blessings, Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

– Kasey

 

Sources:

¹http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/celsolstice.html