since we are not christian (dh is muslim, i'm a pagan-leaning atheist), christmas is always a bit of an exercise in purposeful action and a LOT of thought. i rather enjoy solstice and all its meanings, and i recognize that the celebrations surrounding christmas are truly pagan celebrations anyway. khary has really gotten into celebrating all the various american holidays, and christmas is his new favorite. (no matter how many times i try, he still says "christmas" instead of "solstice" or "winter," though he will sometimes say "holiday." small victories.) anyway, we needed some family traditions now that he's cognizant of such things and itching to start some family traditions.
first, our wintry bough. it is not a christmas tree. it is a stark branch representing the barrenness of winter. we make ornaments for it and decorate it to make it beautiful and warm, just like we spend more time together to make the cold, barren winter feel warm and cozy. i know that evergreens were traditionally used for their color and fragrance (as both were representative of life amidst the lack thereof in the rest of the winter landscape). but i barely got dawud to agree to a branch at ALL, much less an evergreen branch.
the salt-dough ornaments, just out of the oven:
and the wintry bough:
we also got a candle to burn the night of solstice, and while it was burning we'd tell family stories, reminisce about the past year, & talk about hopes for the upcoming year. but the 2nd round of throwing up germs got in the way of that. we may get to do it on new year's day, though. that's the only night we're not booked for a while!
i think we'll fill the birdfeeder tomorrow, too, since it's getting cold again and we didn't get a chance to put birdfood out on solstice either.
we didn't send cards out yet, either. in due time, though.