Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

We don't usually celebrate the solstice. I find that there is so much going on in the ways of celebrations at this time of year that trying to squeeze in another would just be too much.
However, today we were given a truly beautiful gift for the solstice and I want to share it with you.
On our return from collecting Rebe from school we met our postie who handed a silver parcel through the car window to us. The parcel was from a very sweet friend of mine that I met online. She is an incredible story writer and has written some really special stories for Rebe. I really hope that one day she will sit down and write a book of them all! Inside the parcel was this beautiful little treasure chest and inside the chest a long, soft white silk and a wonderful, hand written story.

Of course we had to read it straight away! The story is of a little boy who, on the night of the winter solstice, had to leave his home and all of his toys for a whole year. It is the story of how upset he was and how his cries were heard by a mermaid, a mermaid with the most beautiful long hair.

look at the concern on Rebe's face as I was telling her how upset the little boy was to have to leave his two favourite dolls

The mermaid cut off her hair and gave it to the little boy to play with. He was so happy and he played with the mermaids hair for a whole year until the winter solstice came around again. He returned home to his beloved toys again and although he still loved playing with the mermaid's hair 'he understood that the greatest gifts are the ones you can share.' So he found a little girl who didn't have any toys to play with and he gave her the mermaids gift. He explained that it was hers to play with for one whole year, but when the next winter solstice came, she should pass it on to someone else'

The story ends: 'Now it is in your hands. It is your privilege to keep it until the winter solstice comes again. It is your duty to then pass it on to someone else, along with this story, so they too can enjoy the mermaids gift.'

This is truly one of the most magical gifts we have ever received! I love the imagination, the thought, the simplicity, the sentiment and above all the adventure. Now winter solstice has a meaning for us, it has a legend: that of the mermaids gift and we are now part of this story too. Next year, we have a new celebration, a new tradition, a new duty, that of passing on the mermaid's hair to the next child...I wonder who it will be?

Are we not so lucky to have a friend like this?! Of course Rebe has been playing with the mermaid's hair all afternoon and we have read the story over and over.

After all the excitement I did managed to settle her down to some cake decorating this afternoon.

We have made a little Christmas tree cake for each child in her school class.
The children all give each other little cards here. Every child in the class gives each child in their class a card. Personally I just can't go in for this. I'm sure that for some people they do sit down with their kids and help them to think about and celebrate and remember each child in their class, write a little message of love and cheer, but I'm sure for other's it is just something you do. Everyone else does it so there is an obligation to give cards back, who after all would want their child to be left out?

Well I just can't do it, it just feels like a big waste of time, money and paper to me. After all Rebe has no idea who gave her which card or even why they have done it. So (as usual) we are doing our own thing. We do want Rebe to give to her class mates, to show them love and good cheer, but not in an empty (expensive gesture) so instead we bake. Last year we made a gingerbread house and this year we have made a little forest of Christmas trees.

She will take them in with her tomorrow on the last day of term. And then it's the Christmas holidays whoop whoop :-) I'm sure when we have all 3 kids at school the Christmas baking tradition will be crazy, but you never know perhaps it will be manageable and fun?

So I wish you a very happy solstice and I hope it was as full of love and giving and thoughtfulness as ours turned out to be.

Oh if you haven't done so remember to leave a comment here for a chance to win the winter edition of JUNO ~ with 2 pieces written by me in it :-)


  1. So lovely... What an amazing idea...

  2. Laura, that treasure chest is an incredibly wonderful idea. Your children must have been so mermerised! Special baking too! Happy solstice and blessings to you all.

  3. What a beautiful story, and a fun new Solstice tradition! Your tree cakes look yummy!

  4. What magic! Rebe is going to remember that story forever. And she makes a lovely mermaid!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this. Becoming a mother has reawakened my creativity and this is just magical. We are trying to work out our own family traditions to start to share with our children and celebrating the Solstice is one of them - we were married on the summer solstice. Thanks again xxx