And he said to himself, said he:
" I must admit I've had some fun,
I've chilled the earth and cooled the sun,
And not a flower or tree
But wishes that my reign were done.
As long as time and tide shall run
I'll go on making everyone,
as cold as cold cane be"
Tomorrow (today as I publish this) is the Winter Solstice for us and this year I am actually semi prepared before the day. Well at least I have a few ideas for us to celebrate with, although perhaps not all the materials for each of the crafts I can think of.
Some of the themes that spring to mind that we will perhaps explore are obviously to do with light and warmth.
Therefore we will be looking to make and/or display these ideas throughout the day.
* We will have our fire on to warm the family room where we gather mostly
* we will be reading from our winter book list
* we will light some of our candles and oil lamps that are around our home.
* we will be making chicken and vegetable soup for our evening meal. You really can't go past chicken and vegetable soup for a comfort meal I think.
* we will have a beautifully rich hot chocolate with whipped cream and perhaps a marshmallow or two thrown in.
* Spiced Tea also sounds inviting and here is the recipe:
6 cups of water
1 teaspoon of whole cloves
2 1/2 cm of cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons of black tea or 5 tea bags
1/2 cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of coconut sugar or honey
Combine water, cloves and cinnamon. Heat to boiling.
Add tea; cover and brew for 5 minutes, then strain or take bags out.
heat orange juice, lemon juice and sweetener to boiling; stir and add to hot mix
Makes 6 to eight cups.
NB tea can be replaced with apple juice or cider
* make a star wand-
find a piece of dowel or stick from the yard
Cut out paper or felt in a star shape.
Place star shapes together and either partially glue or sew around the edges.
Fill in the centre with some fleece creating a slight puff look
Finish sewing or gluing so it is completely sealed around your stick.
Complete and ready to play ( if gluing you will need to allow drying time)
* make golden starts from gold glitter pipe cleaners and transparent coloured orange and yellow beads.
Simply twist the pipe cleaners into a star shape and then just thread the beads on in alternating colours
* make a little felt gnome and pouch
*colouring pages about winter or solstice
* word searches or word mix ups (I generate these on line) using winter and solstice as a theme.
* make tissue paper snow flakes
* make tissue paper stars for your windows or hanging wreaths.
* make origami stars
* make a paper lantern using wet on wet water painting and then 'oil' it for a transparent effect.
* decorate bees wax candles with cut out shapes
* decorate a mason jar with tissue paper images.
This is done by tearing up tissue paper and gluing on to the jar with watered down pva glue to create the image you like. Over lap the paper to achieve the desired look.
*making a sun banner-
cut five triangles out of calico and sew into a banner.
Draw and colour a sun pattern on each one and embroider with golden yellow, red, orange and gold on the sun pattern
* We will be definitely making some hand cream from beeswax, olive oil and coconut oil for those winter chapped hands. One of our dear children is suffering from this so it is a number one priority.
* reading aloud and drawing winter images or images of warmer times while sitting around the fire
This is a sweet little story for your little ones:
The Yule Faeries - A Winter Solstice Story
A group of little Faeries huddled in their home deep under the roots of a giant oak tree.
They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave lined with dandelion fluff, bird feathers, and dried moss. Outside, the wind blew cold and the snow fell softly down to cover the ground. "I saw the Sun King today," the faerie named Rose said as she pulled her mossy cloak tighter about her. "He looked so old and tired as he walked off through the forest.
What is wrong with him? "The great oak said he's dying" answered Daffodil. "Dying? Oh, what will we do now?", Little Meadow Grass started to cry, "If the Sun King dies, our little plant friends will not grow. The Birds will not come and sing again. Everything will be winter for ever!" Lilac, Dandelion and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, but they were all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the tiny door.
"Open up, Faeries," called out a loud voice. "Why are you hiding instead of joining us in our Solstice celebration?" Rose opened the door and the little gnome Brown Knobby pushed inside, shaking the glistening snowflakes off his brown coat and hat. "We are too sad to celebrate," Daffodil said wiping her eyes, "The Sun King is dying, haven't you heard?" "He is dead you silly Faeries." Brown Knobby's round dark eyes sparkled with laughter. "Now hurry, or we'll be late for the celebration!" "How can you be happy and laughing?!" Elder Blossom stamped her little foot and frowned at the gnome. "If the Sun King IS dead, it will be winter always. We will never see the Sun again!" "Silly little child-Faeries."
Brown Knobby grabbed Dandelion by the hand and pulled her to her feet. "There is a secret to the Winter Solstice. Don't you want to know what it is?" The Faeries looked at him in surprise. "Secret?" they all said. "What secret? We are only new little Faeries, you silly gnome.
We've never been to a Solstice celebration before." "Come and see. Come and see. Get your capes and come with me." Brown Knobby danced and jigged around the room. "Hurry, Hurry, don't be slow! To the forest special place through the snow!" He danced out of the door and disappeared. "What did that gnome mean?" Rose asked as she gathered up her cloak of dried rose petals held together with cobwebs and lined with goose down. "I don't know, but the Forest Lady lives there." Meadow Grass pulled on her hat. "Perhaps if we go to see the Forest Lady, She can explain what Brown Knobby was talking about".
The Faeries left their snug little home and trudged off through the snow toward the forest special place. The forest was dark with only the light of the Moon shining down through the thick fir branches and bare limbs of maple and hawthorn. It was very difficult for them to get through the snow because they were very, very small.
As they waded through the wet snow and shivered in the cold wind, they met a fox. "Where are you going, Faeries?" the fox asked. "To the special place in the forest," they answered, they were cold and shivering. "Climb on my back and I will take you there swiftly." The fox knelt down so the Faeries could climb up. Then he raced off through the dark. "Listen!" Lilac said as they neared the special place "Someone is singing happy songs. A LOT of someones."
The beautiful music carried over the cold, still, moonlit air. It was the most beautiful music the Faeries had ever heard. The fox carried the Faeries right to the edge of the throne in the center of the forest, then knelt down. "Look!" said Elder Blossom as they slid to the snow covered ground. "There is the Maiden and the Mother and the Old Wise Woman, and many other Little People." "They are all smiling and happy," said Lilac as she looked around at all the creatures. "All the animals are here too," whispered Dandelion. "Why are they all looking at the Forest Lady?" The Faeries moved closer to the three Ladies seated around the throne. The Mother held a bundle close in Her arms, smiling down at it. The Maiden reached down and took the Faeries gently in her Hands.
She held them close to the Mother so they could see what She held. "A Baby!" the Faeries cried. " A new little Baby! Look how he glows!" "He is the newborn Sun King," said the Maiden smiling. "But Brown Knobby and the old oak tree said the Sun King was dead," the Faeries answered her. "How can this little baby be the Sun King?" "That is the great secret of the Winter Solstice." The Old Wise Woman touched the baby's cheek with her wrinkled hand. "Every year the Sun King must come to the special place in the forest, during the darkest days of winter where he dies.After this the new Sun King is born. This is the way for all creatures, not just the Sun King." " You mean everything lives and then dies and others take their place? the Faeries looked down in wonder at the baby Sun King, nestled in the arms of the Mother. " Yes, Little Ones," answered the Old Wise Woman.
"There is never an end to life. This is the great mystical secret of the Winter Solstice." The Faeries laughed because they were so happy. "I think the little Sun King should have gifts," said Rose. "I will show him where the wild roses bloom in the early summer." "And, I will teach him to call the birds and listen to the songs of the wind," exclaimed Dandelion. "When he is older and stronger, " said the Mother, "then the flowers will bloom at his touch, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the air will be warm from his breath, and winter will be gone for a time.
Then the Sun King will run and play with you in the forest." The little Faeries sang to the Baby Sun King, songs of the coming spring, the sweet smelling flowers, the bumbling bees, and all the secrets of the forest. And all the creatures within the centre of the forest sang with them. Then the fox took them back to their snug home under the roots of the giant oak tree where they dreamed wonderful dreams, waiting for the warmth of spring and the fun they would have with the little Sun King.