Friday December 21st is the day of the Winter Solstice for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. This means the shortest day of the year. In New England we have 8 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. It is nice to take a moment on this day to pause and and celebrate the fact that more light will added to each day for the next 6 months.
The kids and I celebrate the animals in our yard on Winter Solstice. We start by reading one of my favorite stories, Night Tree by Eve Bunting. This book is a sweet tale about a family who hikes out into the woods each Christmas Eve to decorate a tree for the animals.
This book has inspired us to create our own Night Tree in our own back yard. We create ornaments with birdseed, gather old vegetables in the fridge and buy some extra sunflower seeds and chunks of suet. We then go the the pine tree at the back of our yard and decorate it for the birds, deer, chipmunks and other small animals.
As the sun sets on Winter Solstice we do not turn on any overhead lights and instead live by candle light and Christmas lights. As we sit in the soft glow of the house, we wonder about the animals that may be dining on their yearly winter feast. It is a simple and cozy way to mark the Winter Solstice and show kindness to the living things in our own backyard.
How do you and your family mark the Winter Solstice?
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