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winter solstice

In the past the winter solstice was celebrated by many cultures with festivals and rituals. Today there are still many who celebrate holidays that are connected to the winter solstice. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. After this day the days will slowly become longer as we approach winter. As the days continue to get colder, we will have more light. I like to acknowledge this reminder of our connection to the natural world.

“The sun’s descent marks not just the end of another day, but a symbolic passage- a reminder that life, like the sun, moves in cycles, each ending giving birth to a new beginning.” ~ Ryan Gelpke.

Our Seasons are Full of Endings and Beginnings

Our seasons are full of endings and beginnings. As one part of life ends another part begins. It is when the Omega becomes the Alpha, and the cycle begins anew. While we all face endings in our lives – the end of relationships, of jobs, of a lifestyle – we also find new beginnings. There are new people to meet, different jobs, a different type of lifestyle. There is always another day or another year. Life is lived in cycles. It is not linear. Sometimes endings force us to try something new. We evolve.

The Winter Solstice is a Time for Reflection and Renewal

Throughout the ages, the winter solstice has been a time of reflection and renewal. It is a time to celebrate the most important things in your life and offer gratitude for them. Things like family, friends, and your home. It’s also a time to look forward to a wonderful new year.

In Celebrate the Solstice, Heinberg writes that “wisdom consists in knowing one’s place in any given cycle, and what kinds of action (or restraint of action) are appropriate for that phase.” Let this be a time for us to pause and spend some time listening, observing, and feeling what is going on around us. Take this time before Christmas or the New Year to stop for a while. Breathe.

On this day of the winter solstice, get outside for a while. Take a walk or bundle up and sit on your deck or patio and watch the birds. Watch the sunrise or sunset. Light a candle in your darkened living area and notice the glow. This day is a celebration of rebirth as the sun grows stronger in the sky.

Allow yourself to be blessed on this day.

Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.



  • Kim says:

    I love this time of year and look forward to the light returning. I love that it is a time of turning inward and reassessing. Good idea to bundle up and take some time to be outside even though it is cold. Happy Winter Solstice.

  • Seana Turner says:

    I love this idea of celebrating the winter solstice. Being a lover of sun and warm weather, I’ve always disliked the solstice. At the same time, it does offer a bit of hope because I know that once it is over, I can look forward to the daylight moving back in the “right” direction. Living up north, the difference in daylight is significant, and I can usually start to notice it by the end of January.

    Thanks for the invitation to reflect in this way. I’ll light a candle and think of this post this year!

  • Thank you for your thoughts on this cold windy day in VA.
    Have a wonderful Monday.

  • I love what you wrote about the Winter Solstice, beginnings, endings, and knowing our place in the cycle. One of my favorite Winter Solstice traditions is going to our friend’s home. They have a large gathering in their woods with a giant bonfire. We each light a candle and throw it in when we’re ready. We “toss away” anything we want to let go of from the past year and also “toss forward” dreams or wishes for the new one. The flames and crackling sound of the fire are intoxicating. The party continues indoors with dancing, live music, great conversation, and food.

    For the past several years, we’ve missed going because of pandemic restrictions. But we’re heading over this weekend to celebrate once again. It’s an outdoor-only event this year with a bonfire but no dancing or music. I’m sure it will still be wonderful to gather outside in the dark woods, which will be filled with an orange glow as the sparks fly upwards.

  • I love celebrating the winter solstices and look forward to them each year. One thing I read about people can do on this day is to write down something they want to let go of on a piece of paper, then burn it in a bucket outside on this day to symbolize the end of that thing they were holding on to. What a nice closure to the year!

  • Sara Skillen says:

    What a perfect post for me at this time of year! The natural cycles have so much meaning, and observing them can be such a beautiful (if somewhat overlooked) part of this season. I love that Heinberg quote, and am now off to go look up the source – wishing you a peaceful, life-affirming Solstice.

  • Julie Bestry says:

    I love the Winter Solstice because the it and the Equinox tell me that it will start getting lighter. I have a calendar from the Jewish community center here, and just by looking down the right side of the page at the Friday night Shabbat candle-lighting times, I can see exactly where the times go from getting earlier and earlier to later and later. It’s only a few minutes, but because the candles are lit at sundown, I know that means we’re getting a few more minutes of daylight every day. I’m not a morning person, so daylight hours ending in late afternoon makes me so sad, and the arrival of the Solstice gives me that optimism just when the darkness has me the most mopey. You’re absolutely right — feeling that sense of the cycles of life helps you feel your place in the world, but also reminds you, when things aren’t great, that “this too shall pass.” Thank you for the reminder to be grateful!

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