It is midwinter on the 22nd of December here in the northern hemisphere. The shortest day and the longest night. It is a time that has me thinking about midwinter rituals, and new family traditions that Bailey, my husband, and myself can begin.
The festivities and preparations that come hand in hand with early December keep us busy through the early stages of the season. It’s good to have these traditions and rituals to take comfort from, as the true depth of Winter is yet to come.
Midwinter, to me, is the heart of Winter, a marker that tells us we are soon to be at its very core. By focusing on the celebrations that happen over Christmas and the start of the new year, we are able to ease ourselves through the darker colder days, as they bring with them the opportunity for light and laughter to enter our homes.
This will be our second Christmas in this house and already we are beginning midwinter rituals. Most of our family rituals involve making natural decorations for the house. Decorating our home by bringing nature inside is a way to bring contentment, solace and honour the season.
Last year I made a wreath from greenery gathered from the garden for the front door, and this year I have done the same (see bottom of post). I also wanted to make a couple of other small ivy wreaths to hang in our home. Ivy is perfect for wreath making, as it is malleable but holds it shape. This little one here doesn’t even have garden wire as a base, it’s simply ivy, and I think it’s just perfect.
Another thing I love to do at this time of year is burn beeswax candles. The gentle glow provides just enough light at dusk before the need to switch the lights on. There is a calm reverence to the ritual of lighting a candle, and it has the ability to automatically alter the mood of a room just by it’s flickering flame.
Through the ritual of making natural festive decorations for our home, there is a sense of achievement from seeing creative ideas realised. Plus the repetition of making similar things again and again builds tradition, and I’m really keen to establish some family traditions with Bailey. With that in mind, we are going to get our christmas craft on this weekend, and will be making some more things for our home.