Saturday, 27 December 2008

A Merry Solstice Tide

I have always only invited women friends to my Winter Solstice celebration. This is my particular decision and it has worked very well so far. We follow certain traditions that have grown over the years. We each bring a small present for everyone who comes and take it in turn to give them out. This can take a long time and is most enjoyable. The presents are small and simple and beautifully wrapped. While we are waiting for everyone to arrive we make a pile of the presents under the tree and a very attractive pile it is. By the time we have given and opened the presents it is time to eat. We always have a wonderful cheese board full of delicious cheeses and a bunch of grapes, savoury biscuits, a bowl of mixed dry roast vegetables that are like crisps but much tastier, and a hot chestnut and vegetable stew. We also have mulled wine and mulled apple juice or spiced berry juice. It is a wonderful feast. We share Tarot readings and listen to or join in some carol singing. We put fresh mistletoe up in place of the old and each person is given a small piece to take home.

Some ideas for things that can be bought for Solstice presents are night-lights, small candles, candle holders, tree ornaments, brooches, earrings, sweets, photographs, cakes, lanterns and any small seasonal thing that doesn't cost much. We encourage people to make their own and most people think of simple, beautiful things to make.

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