A new thing we have is a little collection of holiday books. They are to be saved until the first day of snow, when I take them out and read one of them. How the kids are thrilled when we take them out of the box!
Our main solstice tradition is to have a great meal together. A cipaille, potatoe candies, candy cane bark and other delightful things!
A cipaille is a slowy cook dish composed of various meats; originally woodland hunted animals such as moose, white-tailed dear, perdrix and hare, it is now more commonly made with beef, porc, calf and chicken. You would need a lot of potatoes too! As much as many different kinds of meats as you have. And a good broth of chicken or beef. Cut everything in cubes and throw into a big deep dish and add the broth with some allspice and thyme, let your meat and potato marinate in it for a while. Get it out of the fridge and cover with your favorite crust recipe. Put it oven and let it cook slowly for around 6h. My mom used to start it before going to bed and let it cook over night. We’d wake up to the wonderful smell and have some for breakfast!
The other thing we like to do on solstice night is take a walk in the brisk air. I remember walking with my mother once. It has been warm that day and actually rained, which never happens in Québec in December, and it froze in the night. The trees, all departed of their leaves, were covered in icecles and illuminated by the street lamps. It was gorgeous!
I also do a personal ritual; a very simple one. I reflect on what happened to me and my family since the Summer Solstice, how and what changed, what did not. Then I think about the half of year to come. What I’d like to achieve until Summer Solstice, little goals I set to myself. I can also write a wish on a paper and burn it to send my message to the universe.
This is a time where we will be moving a lot; we are renting and planning to buy a house to sell it some years later and move back to our original region. That much to say that I didn’t want to be bothered moving the huge plastic pine someone kindly gave to us along with us every move. I told myself I’d find something good enough for a Yule tree that is not time consuming and ecological. I came up with a construction paper evergreen that my daughter helped me with; She cut all the fringes while I was doing the gluing. Her brother was doing the “I mess around with any other craft supply on hand” part of the project. It’s way too small to put on any handmade ornaments we have… But it fit that salt dough moon that purposefully watches over the cedar bed.
I hope you like this little intrusion in our family’s custom! Please stay in tune to read what other families are doing in December!