I love Winter Solstice! It is the quiet moment before the holiday chaos. The in-breath of stillness and peace brings the meaning of the season inward.
We have created a ritual for our family consisting of walking a beautiful spiral labrinth. Each person carries an unlit candle and walks the path to the center where they light their candle and then find a place on the spiral to stand and bring their “light to the world”.
An indoor spiral is created in our living room using stars cut out of white, gold or silver paper. I let the kids trace star cookie cutters onto the paper and then cut out. Glitter glue or other embellishments are sometimes added. Larger stars can be made out of paper plates and then covered in foil.
Lay a simple spiral of stars on the floor. Allow a 2-foot path to walk on. Once set up, have everyone leave the space except mother. When called or on a musical cue the family enters, youngest to oldest, and walks the path one at a time. At the center sits mother holding a lit candle. Upon getting to mother, the child lights a candle and finds a place on the path for it to go and walks out of the spiral. Quietly each one takes their turn.
We use tea lights and votive holders for little ones. Mother lights their candle for them. When the children are older, other candles can be used. I have seen battery operated candles for house windows that could also be used if you had very active children. I don’t even need to go into the list of safety issues needing to be in place in order to use candles, do I?
Gentle music playing and a story or poem read before and after everyone has walked the path. Then a quiet moment to take in the beauty of the room and the peace of the ceremony. Quietly leave the space with a parent staying behind to blow out candles. It is best not to let your children blow them out. To keep the image in mind is what we are after.
One year my oldest daughter made a very big spiral in our backyard with strings of Christmas lights. I stood in the center and each person walked the twinkling path holding an apple with a candle in it. After lighting the candles, our family stayed on the path where they wanted their light to shine. It was lovely in the cold, clear night. The spiral remained in our backyard for the whole season. It was magical to see it out the window at night.