Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Homegrown Solstice Traditions

What? No abundance of winter solstice threads? Were we all dutifully waiting for December only to find ourselves too busy to post? We have to remedy this!

I'd like to hear how others incorporate their newer (to most families, at least) Pagan traditions with older Christian-oriented family traditions. In our house we've noticed the most meaningful family traditions had nothing much to do with Christianity to begin with. So mincemeat pastries continue to be served in this household without abatement and the customs of my parents' respective families have been combined in ours (his: mincemeat pies with dinner, hers: cinnamon buns for breakfast, and ours: mincemeat buns for dinner and breakfast). Every year now we hold a solstice vigil party at which we serve a big crockpot full of hot mulled wine which becomes integral in a sumbel-like drinking rite around midnight. Hats are filled with treats for our Santa figure (haven't worked that out yet) and left under the altar, to be found in the morning filled with all our gifts. (We don't happen to do a tree in our household, although a potted rosemary cone makes an annual appearance.)

In an old is new again twist, we don't give many gifts, but the one we give to my parents' household from each year out is a goose ala Scrooge. This year it's just the one goose because finances are tight, but the plan is to grow the tradition by giving a Christmas goose to all the various households we exchange gifts with plus a pair of geese (or substitute) to the needy either directly to a family hitting a rough patch or through Heifer Project.

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