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TexasMadness Profile
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Yule/Winter Solstice


I was raised in a secular household, but in a Christian community. Therefore, we had Easter and Christmas and all the other holidays but without the religious parts. This last year, I finally convinced my family that is was nonsense for us to celebrate these holidays that are merely a commercial bonanza. We've been complaining about the commercialism for years and finally we did something about it. Last year, we had a huge solstice dinner and a fire that burned all night long (ok, until midnight or so when we all decided to go to bed!) and didn't have a gift exchange. It was out first attempt at starting our own traditions. Turns out, people missed giving presents more than they missed getting them! So we are having gifts again this year, but the emphasis will be on homemade items. Besides that, we don't really have any good ideas as to what to do!

No one in my family is big on ceremony or ritual, but other than that, we are pretty open to ideas.

What do you do for the solstice?

Thanks!
Marissa
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Saijen SilverWolf Profile
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


Because I married into a Christian family, we do the usual Christmas stuff, which is OK, but I have finally gotten to the point that I am insisting we draw names. DH has 3 sisters and a brother, all married, most with kids, some with [sign in to see URL] just gets out of hand. We do put up a tree, albeit a small one, and not real at [sign in to see URL] I hate, but with carpet, I hate picking needles out of the carpet. As soon as my floors are all the beautiful hardwood under these carpets, I'll be doing a real tree. Goddess knows we have plenty of cedar trees here to choose from.
As a coven, we generally have a nice, sit down dinner and gift exchange between coven members, even though spouses are along for the dinner. We try to do things that are very personal to the person we're giving them to. For [sign in to see URL] HPS did for me and my other coven mate, hand painted [sign in to see URL] is a Witch, skyclad on a hill top under a full moon, with trees on either side of her. It's so me it's not funny. For my coven mate, she did a female coming out of a tree trunk , and the tree branches/leaves came out of the top of her [sign in to see URL] a really nice painting, and suited my coven mate perfectly. My HPS is very much into faeries, so I got her a very nice set of faerie wall plaques for her dressing room (yes, she has her own dressing [sign in to see URL]), for my coven mate, she enjoys candles, so I got her a variety of candles. Think of the person you're giving the gift [sign in to see URL] deep and see what they truly enjoy. They will appreciate something so much more if it's geared toward them rather than something you just picked up.
We still hang our stockings up, but rarely is there anything in them, and I put out my Santas. I used to put out a lighted snow village, but it just got to be too [sign in to see URL]'s a little on the big side, and my house is not very big, so, it is packed up.

I like the idea of the fire you [sign in to see URL] would keep that going, and have you thought about doing the fire and the gift exchange around the fire? Good way to get rid of the wrapping paper, toss it in the fire, unless you reuse it. There's just something about a fire on a cold night that is soothing, isn't there?

I wish I had more suggestions for you. It's kind of hard when you're so ingrained in the usual hype.

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~*~ Saijen ~*~

~~*~~ .~~*~~
10/29/2007, 8:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to Saijen SilverWolf   Send PM to Saijen SilverWolf Yahoo
 
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice



Saijen SilverWolf wrote:
It's kind of hard when you're so ingrained in the usual hype.



Don't I know!

I'm the youngest in my family since my generation hasn't been 'fruitful' yet emoticon. It's made our gift giving much more reasonable over the years. I think without kids around, you realize that one simple, yet profound gift is so much better than a bunch of 'stuff'. It's just so easy to get carried away with buying toys for kids! I think the tradition of downsizing the gift giving will continue even after we have kids. I sure hope so!

Last year, we really missed stockings. My great grandmother made stockings that were beaded - solid seed beads sewn on individually. My mother made replicas for us when we were little. She is the one to always buy all the little things for stockings and it's a lot of work for one person. We are thinking that maybe instead of having 'big' gifts, we should all make something for stockings. Everyone could make 10 (or however many people were involved) little items - homemade jam, knitted scarves, whittled animals, etc and put those in the stockings. But even that could get out of hand! It's kind of fun coming up with new traditions, but it's going to take some time to get into a rhythm that everyone is comfortable with.
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice



TexasMadness It's kind of fun coming up with new traditions, but it's going to take some time to get into a rhythm that everyone is comfortable with.




No truer words were ever typed!! It's been hard for us to find our way, even after almost 10 years. I think that is due to the fact that there are so many of us, and like anything else, the more people there are, the more opinions you get.
DH and I have pretty much gotten out of doing Thanksgiving every year. We generally go out to eat that day. This year, however, we're going to my HPS'[sign in to see URL] honestly, I'm beginning to second guess myself on this one. I prefer a nice, quiet day, a nice meal and more than enough time to just sit and enjoy the company of my hubby. And, truth be told, if we could get out of it, we'd probably do Christmas the same [sign in to see URL]'d fix a special meal here, and just the 2 of us open [sign in to see URL] having to go anywhere else, no having to kill ourselves getting our house ready when it's our turn to 'host' things at our house, or finding room here for everyone to sit and eat (we have a fairly small house). It's not so much 'Bah humbug' as it is, we just really prefer our own company LOL. If I have to do family get-togethers, I'd rather do them in the warmer months, grill out, and eat outside where we have more room, we can set up the badminton set and people can [sign in to see URL] one gets bored.



---
Blessed Be,
~*~ Saijen ~*~

~~*~~ .~~*~~
10/30/2007, 5:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to Saijen SilverWolf   Send PM to Saijen SilverWolf Yahoo
 
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


We've come up with a new solstice idea. My family is almost entirely composed of artists and engineers. Makes for some interesting conversations! I have plenty of open land at my house and I've been trying to figure out what to do with this weird shaped part of my yard - a triangular point with streets on either side. My mom kept suggesting a fountain or some other kind of focal point. Well, now we've decided to make some kind of mini stonehenge!

We'll start this winter solstice and mark where the sun rises and sets. New parts to the ring will be added for the equinoxes and probably the cross quarter days as well. I think it will be so much fun! I thought it sounded like a perfect project for my family to work on and they all seem pretty excited. No details yet (could be made of wood, stone, concrete made to look like stone, etc) but I'm sure we'll have tons of ideas by the end of December!
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


Wooohoooo!

That's a great idea! I love it already. Please, tell us how it continues.

  emoticon

---
- Firlefanz


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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


What a cool idea!!! You need to post pictures as it progresses.......
I'm so [sign in to see URL]. It would be really hard for me to do something like that here, since we don't own the land. Unless, of course, I snitched a corner of the garden so it wouldn't kill the grass!!!!! LOL.

Good luck with the beginning, prosess, and end of this project!!!! emoticon

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~*~ Saijen ~*~

~~*~~ .~~*~~
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


I have a dinner for my family (kids and hubby) - a feast of ham, sides and pies. We do not have a fire place - I would love to do the Yule log but at lass we don't have the place even outside to do it safely - we have to many trees, etc.

We also do the traditional Christmas eve and day - where we visit with Santa (kids do anyway), decorate gifts we will exchange and put them under the tree waiting for Santa to bring the rest. We meet with family both Eve and Day and exchange gifts and spend time with each member at their house or in one house. We don't exchange a lot of gifts - and most often the gifts are about what a person needs more than wants - like clothes, etc. We put emphasis on family time and eating more than anything. WE consider Christmas in the traditional broad sense to be about kids so most adults don't get gifts unless they need something and then everyone else pools money and we get it for them.

We use to do the Christmas Navity play but my kids have not been in one for about a year now. We found that while it was somewhat fun, the kids preferred to just spend time with family. But last year my son's kind. class did put on a really cute Christmas play about the Littlest Reindeer of them all - and it was not Rudolph which as so cute and funny. emoticon

---
“Never think that whatever is around you is beyond your comprehension, no matter how complicated it seems.
To attain total freedom, learn how to undo the web of illusion that has convinced you that you are not free…”
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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


Wow, it's interesting to see how much my family has changed in just the 2 Winter Solstices since I first started this topic. My immediate family no longer considers 'Christmas' the important holiday - that's just the day we see our extended family and eat mushy food (never liked Christmas dinner). The Solstice centers much more prominently for us and we are all in town for it.

BUT, hubby loves Santa. Ba humbug. He wants to do Santa for our future kids but I don't really - we weren't ever told Santa was "real", but just a tradition, folk tale, make believe, etc. My mom is already threatening to "tell" if hubby wants Santa to be "real"! emoticon
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Re: Yule/Winter Solstice


Texas - Are y'all still working on the stonehenge thing?

We ourselves are moving more towards Winter Solistice but keeping Christmas too as that's what the rest of the families do (we're the black sheep emoticon )
We don't tell our kids Santa is "real" but that it's a fun tradition/folk tale to participate in emoticon
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