Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Solstice Tree

Many bloggers have been writing about their Christmas decorations, including the rituals of finding and putting up a Christmas tree. Due to my fatigue, I did not put up any holiday decorations inside my house (not much outside, either).

Instead, I used my energy to put up my tree at my spiritual home (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, Delaware) as part of our Winter Solstice celebration which was held on 20 Dec 2007. For those of you unfamiliar with the winter solstice, it is the darkest day of the year/ shortest amount of daylight in the northern hemisphere, the first day of winter, and the day when people throughout the ages have gathered to urge the return of the sun.

We asked people who were coming to the Winter Solstice service to bring natural decorations to adorn the solstice tree. No tinsel, no metal hooks, no electric lights. Only ornaments that we can recycle by throwing into the woods to decay naturally.

I was amazed at how beautiful the tree was! People brought baby's breath, poinsettia leaves, pear tree berries, plumes of dried grasses and leaves, holly and red berries, pinecones, stars fashioned from sticks, and dried orange peels. A crown of dried oak leaves served as the tree topper (see below). What creativity!

This beautiful tree stands in respect and connection to ancient ancestors throughout history who gathered on this day to celebrate the return of the light. It stands as witness to the beauty and magic of Nature in its purity. It stands as a reminder that I can still be amazed and in awe over simple things.


  1. "Blessed be" as well. I believe I've read about this church before. Sounds just beautiful and calming.

  2. Joanie - it truly is a beautiful tree. Not just because it turned out beautiful, but because it came from people's hearts. It made people think.....think of an "ornament of nature". They didn't have to buy anything. A "simple" ornament of nature that didn't cost anyone a penny, yet, it looked like the most "expensive" tree I've seen. Simple things in life are what I hold onto and why people call me a cheap date. haha