Putting the “Soul” in Solstice, by Guest Blogger Janina Grey


 For the last two decades I have carefully plodded through the holiday season with one snow boot firmly planted in Christmas and the other in Winter Solstice. And each year we manage to almost seamlessly blend traditions together for the sake of our family and friends to experience a holiday season Hans Christian Anderson would be envious of, no doubt.

Growing up, we always had a real tree, so I made it a point when I got married to make sure we only had live trees. I’d make strands of popcorn to hang on the tree until my fingertips were bloody from stabbing the popped kernels, but it was worth it. When it was finally decorated and lit, no matter how lopsided or sparse it was, we’d always stand back and say, “This is the prettiest Christmas Tree we’ve ever had.”

Married and living in the suburbs of Long Island, Christmas was hectic. We’d split the holidays with my family getting Christmas Eve, and my New Jersey in-laws getting Christmas Day. We’d trek every year into Manhattan to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, the department store windows (Macy’s, A&S, Bloomingdale’s and Saks were the best), and wind down by visiting Santa at Macy’s.

Moving 300 miles north to Mohawk Valley in 2002 made the holidays much less stressed, less busy. My husband and I divorced. I discovered Paganism was more in line with my beliefs and way of life. My second husband and I continued celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with the kids to help them hang on to their childhood traditions.

Each year, my sister and her family celebrate Christmas Eve at their home and we join them. Christmas morning my son and daughter are off to their dad’s home for a celebration with his wife and their stepbrother and stepsister.

Now that they have grown, my son and daughter have partners and celebrations of their own. I imagine dividing up the holiday celebrations pie is going to result in smaller slices for all of us as their families grow. And that’s okay, because we have Solstice and this will hopefully give our children one more holiday to consider when dividing up their time with their parents and their future in-laws.

My husband David and I begin celebrating the season on December 1, by lighting a Solstice Spiral, which counts down to Midwinter’s Day (also called Winter Solstice). Then, on that morning we light a fire outside, regardless of weather, and keep it going until sundown. When we are lucky enough to have the holiday fall on a weekend, we open the house up to friends and family (Pagan and non-Pagan alike) and serve up Wassail, snacks, play music and sing yule carols, drum, and exchange gifts. Whether it’s snowing or clear skies we keep the fire going all day, adding wood, stoking the embers, tossing wishes for the coming year into the roaring flames. Some years we’ve had as many as 20 people pass through.

Regardless of what we call the holiday we celebrate it’s always filled with family and friends we love. And that’s what is most important. Making cherished memories with the people you cherish.

Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I wish you the happiest of holidays, and a healthy and safe New Year.

If you’re still looking for last minute stocking stuffers, check out my two releases with Soul Mate Publishing, available at amazon.com, soulmatepublishing.com, and barnesandnoble.com.

Or email me at janinagrey143@gmail.com and purchase an autographed print copy of TEN BUCKS AND A WISH and/or LOVE IN THE FOREST from me. I’ll make sure it gets to you in time for the holiday.


You can grab your very own copy of LOVE IN THE FOREST by following these links:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-in-the-forest-janina-grey/1139804111?

Amazon: amazon.com/Love-Forest-Janina-Grey/dp/1647162394/

Soul Mate Publishing: soulmatepublishing.com/love-in-the-forest/

Don’t forget to follow me on social media at:
Facebook: facebook.com/janinagrey

Instagram: @janinagreyauthor

Twitter: @janina_grey

About charchaffin2011

Writer and Senior Acquiring Editor
This entry was posted in Soul Mate Publishing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Putting the “Soul” in Solstice, by Guest Blogger Janina Grey

  1. sueberger3 says:

    How beautiful. What a meaningful and lovely tradition.Happy holidays to you and yours.

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