I love the stillness and quiet of winter. I do not love the cold and the dark, however. I wonder if others share these sentiments.
Almost all cultures have a holiday that involves bringing in the light during the wintertime. I think we light candles to remind us that the spark inside each of us will not be buried or consumed by the darkness! That’s surely something to celebrate with our families and loved ones.
Solstice literally means “sun standing still.” There is an actual moment when the seasons change, when increasing darkness gives way to increasing light here in the Northern Hemisphere, sometime on December 21 or 22.
Paying attention to Solstices and Equinoxes helps us to be in tune with changes in the world of nature and to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. Celebrating the seasons with our children inspires awe and wonder in us all.
I know that Winter Solstice sometimes gets overlooked because of the busy holiday season, but I like to think of Solstice as a pause, a moment to stop and reflect even in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. And to remember that “light is returning.”
There are so many ways to mark the Solstice. My favorite ways are with sun crafts, song, stories and a Solstice Spiral.
Here is a sun craft we like to do at this time of year. This folded paper sun can be made at either Winter or Summer Solstice. These suns look beautiful hanging in the window. I imagine they would also make nice ornaments for a tree.
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For this project, you will need a few supplies: 4 squares of paper all the same size, a ribbon or string, and a glue stick. For the paper, I used these kite paper squares. It’s glossy but also translucent. Alternatively, you could create these radiant suns with yellow tissue paper, construction paper, or even gold crown paper (just note that the gold paper is thicker and a bit harder to fold.)
First, take one square and create an accordion fold, continuing until your entire square is folded into one single, long strip. Those who know me are well aware that I am not very exacting in my measurements! If you are, you could measure the width of your square and make sure your first fold is a measurement that divides evenly into the full width, approximately 1/4″, so that the last fold turns out to be the same size as the first.
Repeat accordion folds on all four squares of paper.
Take each piece and fold in half, like you see in the top, right piece in the picture.
Cut a piece of yarn, ribbon, or embroidery floss for hanging your sun, and glue it between the ends of the first strip of one of the pieces. Re-fold this piece in half, gluing the two edges of the strip together so that the floss is secured between the two ends.
Then continue to glue all the end strips together of each of the four accordions, and glue each of the four fans together. The end result will be that the folds all converge at the center but fan out into rays at the edges like this!
You can find instructions for other sun crafts to make in the book, All Year Round, by Druitt, Fynes-Clinton & Rowling.
Here is a beautiful verse to go with your sun.
May the Longtime Sun
May the longtime sun
Shine upon you.
All love surround.
And the pure light
Guide your way on.
Happy Solstice everyone, and remember to take a moment and pause on December 21 or 22 with the “sun standing still.” The dark never lasts forever.
I actually like the cold and darkness of winter but look forward to the increasing light coming with the Winter Solstice. And I love your shining sun craft! Thanks for this wonderful post and the opportunity to enter your drawing. What a great giveaway! Much aloha, Lori
The increasing light is so beautiful, so incremental it’s barely noticeable but it surely adds up. Kind of like parenting! Thanks, Lori.
Lovely and inspiring! Thank you Jean!
Thank you, Siobhan! Hope you’re staying warm and cozy.
Love this Jean!
Thank you for the lovely post and giveaway. I love the simplicity and beauty of the folding sun. It is a craft we can make with the supplies we have on hand and can be done by all of our children from big to little. We would love to win Celebrating the Seasons: Winter!
Yes, a good craft for all ages. I love this folded sun’s simple elegance. Thanks, Kristin, glad your’re here!
What a lovely post! I am finally starting to honor Winter for what it is .an inward journey and have stopped dreading it. I do not love the long dark days but appreciate the time to slow down and reflect . It feels like a great way to prepare for Spring. I always look forward to receiving your newsletters . They are so full of great ideas and thoughts to ponder. Keep warm!
Thanks so much, Julie. And glad to see you here! The grey days sometimes get to me, but I too have come to appreciate the time for inner reflection. Do you know Clarissa Pinkola Estes? This is one of her reflections:
It roots deepest
In the places
Such a wonderful craft and giveaway! I like this time of year when it gets darker and is a bit colder, but I also like knowing that after the 22nd the light will be coming back more and more each day! I look forward to the Summer Solstice because it is also my birthday :]
What a great time for a birthday! What gets me through this time of year is knowing and noticing the return of the light, little by little. Waldorf really brought me that sensitivity, teaching me to pay attention to nature and simple beauty.
I like the winter. It feels good and refreshing to walk in the cold. Wonderful giveaway! I am a subscriber to your blog. Thank you.
Thanks, Janet! I too like a refreshing walk in the cold. I just got home from the Nature Center and a walk with a friend; sometimes it takes meeting up with someone to get me to out there!
This is an amazing resource!
Thanks so much!
yesterday we bought some bulbs…tomorrow we’ll plant them while it snows.
nope, i’m not giving up hope just yet : )
embracing the season, especially through crafts and music (and eating too!), helps get me through these dark days. here’s what I’ve been singing lately (taught to me by a friend):
Where are you hiding?
How are you moving
As you cross the land?
Open our hearts up to the forest
And we’ll understand.
Oooooo, I can feel it coming.
Light the lights!
As we head into the time of the darkest night.
thank you for offering such a lovely giveaway.
enjoy the season!
Love the bulb planting – embracing the season in as many ways as we can! Thanks for sharing the words to this song; I’ve been singing a lot lately myself…helps get me through these dark days for sure. Community does too. And I’m so appreciating the technology to create a community here on this site! Thanks for sharing.
Congrats, Heather! You won the Giveaway!!! Check your email for the eBook and enjoy the season.
Great blog! So often the solstice gets overlooked at this time of year.
Thanks for all he wonderful ideas! Super informative post. XOXO Andrea
Thanks, Andrea! xoxo
Beautiful post Jean! I love honoring the Solstices as well. I agree, I think even in the midst of a busy holiday season it’s lovely to take a pause on the Winter Solstice. We keep it simple and do our entire evening by candlelight (and the Christmas tree lights) and we go out for a night time walk after dinner. My little girls still remember from last year and are looking forward to it! This year I also want to talk with them about how we can “shine our light” in the coming year. Blessings to you!
Love that walk after dark…and returning to the house with just candlelight. Do you know the song “This Little Light of Mine”? And the song that’s sometimes sung at lantern festivals, “Down with Darkness”? Beautiful messages there. Thanks Kelly and blessings to you and yours!
I am a kindred spirit…I enjoy the special hushed silence of winter, not the cold – but the fun of seeing my little son play in the fluffy white snow, and a good book with coffee by a warm fire.
Ah, yes, little ones bundled up for playing in the snow! And a good book by the fire with warm mugs for all. See my book post here. Thanks for sharing, kindred spirit!
Very inspiring – thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Anna. And Happy Solstice!
We celebrate the Solstice with extra enthusiasm as it is also my husband’s birthday. Love your ideas and hope to implement them. Happy holidays!
Hope you had a great Solstice & birthday celebration!
So here I am . . . two years later . . . LOL
I needed a verse for Jude’s cub scouts “faith service” and I knew right where to come!
(Incidentally, I googled “winter solstice verse” and your blog came up first or second.)
LOVE THAT! And, this was part of the Blog Hop that you organized! I love being on these journeys together. Thank you!