In our house, we celebrate the Winter Solstice. On Solstice Eve, we have a nice dinner, then create a fort in the living room. We light dozens and dozens of candles, crawl inside, and stay up late telling stories. This year, we modified it a bit. With my youngest still being such a troublemaker, we knew he'd pull down even the stoutest sheet fort. So instead, we got out the futon mattress and the air mattress, all of our blankets, comforters, and pillows, and created a huge bed. Then we lit a fire in the fireplace, and set out our customary candles. We had also done an advent lighting of sorts - on our altar, we had three white pillar candles and a lovely yellow-y orange candle in the center. On the Wednesdays leading up to the Solstice, we lit the white candles, and on Solstice Eve, we lit all four.
So we stayed up late, telling stories about the sun (the children made up their own.. in past years, we've read Celtic and Norse myths). The children went to bed, and then my husband and I set to work. On Solstice Eve, the fairies create a special door to come from the realm of fae and into our world (using chalk, of course), and then cause all sorts of mischief. This year, they created an obelisk of toys, with a host of stuffed animals bowing down before it. They hung toys from the curtain rods and the chandelier. They put boots on the sconces, and replaced portraits hung on the wall with Crocs. They also toilet-papered the couch. While my husband was setting all that up, I worked on the gift the Solstice fairies would leave. Here it is:
In previous years, the Solstice Fairies have left little gnomes, so this year they got a gnome house. It was actually pretty easy to make, it took about two hours. I need to see if there's some sort of floral fixative to spray it with so it won't rot, because I'd love to keep it for next year, too.