We had a fun and very merry holiday time here at the homestead! Well, we’re still having it, really. Tomorrow we have my sister-in-law coming for an overnight visit, Wednesday is my Mom’s re-birthday, and then Friday is the huge homeschool group New Year bash.
Then we held our 10th annual Winter Solstice Celebration! Actually, we’ve had more than ten, because we used to have them pre-kids, too, but this is the tenth one at this home. It was a sparkly fun time! We started the bonfire at sunset, and held the ritual at 6pm. We had 30 people this year, 26 of whom were there with us in sacred space, which was a delight. I loved the ritual (if I do say so myself, heh heh). It was so reverent, yet flowed smoothly and naturally. We feasted and exchanged homemade goodies and made paper snowflakes and played the Werewolf game and enjoyed the fire and played cards. And ate some more - there were so many goodies to share! And everyone was smiling and joyful and relaxed. I thought it was one of the best Solstice gatherings in recent memory.
And then most of the adults left, and the merriment continued! We had nine kids, ages 10 to 16, staying over. Not sleeping over, mind you, though two of them caught a few winks toward morning. No, this is the night we hold vigil with the Sun, staying up all night to see him reborn at dawn. I must say, for the longest night, it wasn’t all that dark – a lovely full Moon kept us company! We played a spontaneous live-action role-playing game, vampires versus werewolves. There was X-Box playing and video watching and dice-rolling preparation for the pre-planned D&D game, which started at 3am. I made more food and cleaned the kitchen while they played D&D, then had some quiet time by myself at the fire. I was joined by a few of the girls, and we had a lovely chat. At dawn, we closed the circle and everyone crashed. I slept right through both of the kid pickups! But no one seemed to mind. While we slept the day away, there were snow flurries that gave us our wished-for white Christmas.
On Christmas Eve we had a lovely quiet evening at Mom & Dad’s. We had soup and chowder and bread, and Christmas cupcakes. The movie this year was "The Polar Express," one of ElvenTiger’s favorites. Back home, we hung up our stockings and slept cozily.
Christmas morning was a super-fun flurry of gift opening and giggles and talking and playing games and our traditional breakfast of bagels and hot chocolate. BlackLion was here with us this year, and of course my parents, too. We were joined by several other relatives at noon, for more gift exchanges and lots of appetizers, followed by a delicious feast and my aunt’s terrific Death by Chocolate trifle. The evening was spent quietly with immediate family. We chatted and watched “White Christmas” and read holiday stories.
That brings us to yesterday, Boxing Day, when we went to BlackLion’s Mom’s home for a delightful feast and more gift exchanging. We had a wonderful evening there, and went home (not too far, luckily) in the beginnings of a winter blizzard. Today the world is really white and beautiful! We’ve been resting and writing and napping and reading and playing games. The cats are bored – it’s too windy and cold and wet outside, but they can’t really find anything to do inside. We gave them treats and catnip, and played with them with their new toy. Star loves her new coat, and looks adorable in it, too. The kids played outside, but Star didn't stay out with them for long - I guess she needs some doggie boots, too.
As for me, I’m feeling content with a job well done, and extremely blessed with a loving, fun, and generous family and community. You are all simply awesome! Thank you so much!