Welcome, First Day of Winter!

Happy Winter Solstice everyone! Here we go into the coldest season—and, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the shortest day and the longest night of the year, too. Most of us will just light a fire, turn on some good music (my recommendation: my Spotify Christmas Playlist), and kick back in the comfort of our warm homes. But did you know that the winter solstice has been celebrated as a time of rebirth in cultures around the world for thousands of years?

From watching the sunrise over Stonehenge with the druids in Wiltshire, England, to soaking in a hot bath filled with yuzu citrus fruit in Japan, the solstice marks the official start of the solar year. It’s also a good excuse to a moment out from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season for a little pre-Christmas reflection. Take a cue from other cultures who mark this occasion and create your own ritual by lighting a Yule log in the fireplace, having the kids create a yule altar of symbols of the season (pinecones, evergreen boughs, red and gold ornaments), or simply giving thanks for the blessings in your life.