We had a thoroughly lovely Solstice and Christmas this year. Really great. We have a family joke of sorts about "this is the best Christmas ever" (ala St. Pat's is always the "best ever"), but this one really did feel like one of the best ever. We went to my parents house and my brother and sister were there too. Everyone got along really well. The mood was peaceful, joyous, and fun. L is at a fun age for enjoying everything and being SO excited. Z didn't really get what was going on, but was as adaptable as ever. Still a boy of few words, he did let out a "wow" every now and then that was pretty cute. He also snagged a lot of candy from other people's stockings and scarfed it down.
On Christmas Eve, we played our little game where we each write down two things and then randomly draw them and sing the 12 Days of Christmas using what is written on the paper (i.e. "Five Ewoks Dancing...").
On Solstice (this year the Sat. before Christmas), we open gifts as a nuclear family and then the extended family comes over in the afternoon and I plan some meaningful family activities for us to all do together--the kinds of things that are lost under the commercialism of Christmas. So, we share solstice goals with each other, reflect on past goals and the things that have "bloomed" in our lives over the year, make ornaments together, light candles on a Yule log, that sort of thing. I usually do a few things differently each year and a few are traditions year-t0-year. We started celebrating the Solstice they year L was born. It seems to mean something even to my teenage bro and sis, who each made a special effort to be present (sis with boyfriend along as well who was good spirited about everything and made a felt Ninja Turtle for L to stick to our wall--side note: we discovered that the walls of our straw bale house are like a giant felt-board and if you make things out of felt, they stick to the walls of their own accord. Pictures will follow when I get my camera's batteries recharged).
One of my solstice gifts from M was a pelvis model from ebay. Yay! I've wanted one for a long time! (The ebay seller's store is vanscience if anyone out there is also coveting one of these beauties. It is exactly life size.) The other thing in the picture is the uterus cutaway model thing that it comes with, but it isn't very cool. I'll stick with my big knitted uterus lovingly made for me by my mother.
I have more to say and more pictures to add sometime soon!