Three Cranes Grove is doing their annual 12 Days of Solstice-Along starting tomorrow! Like other ADF Druids, I try to follow along in some capacity each year. Now that my daughter is a little older and more aware, I wanted to do something different to make it very kid-friendly and also help us keep track of the days. Browsing the internet, I saw that several people make paper chain advent calendars, so I thought – why not!? It’s something the two of us made together using some of her construction paper.
It was also a fun way to review numbers with her. I wrote a number (1-12) on each strip of paper. She added decorations of suns, snowflakes, and happy faces. Inside each loop, there is a very short description for the day’s focus. I basically followed past “Solstice Alongs,” but I changed the 11th night from “Bringing in the Boar” (which I always struggled with) to a night to honor the Ancestors.
Here’s my plan this year:
12/20 Mother’s night/Solstice vigil – Call my mother, make offerings to ancestral mothers, take a relaxing shower (since I’m a mother), and make a point to discuss darkness when we turn off all the lights before bed. Vigil? On a work night? Haa…. I wish. Maybe we’ll make some paper suns tonight.
12/21 Solstice Day – I will rise and get ready for work, but take some time to greet the sun with prayers and offerings. We’ll later have my family gathering with feasting. I told my daughter we will celebrate the sun’s birthday today. We will exchange gifts.
12/22 Nature Spirits – We’ll take a walk outside and give offerings to the spirits. Perhaps we will wassail the trees?
12/23 Feast of Fools – I think we’ll emphasize doing fun, goofy things, and in the spirit of Saturnalia, we’ll let our daughter make some big decisions. Oh boy…
12/24 House spirits – We’ll make offerings to the house spirit (first time here!) and tidy up a bit. We’ll also give an offering to the spirit of generosity in the form of Santa Clause.
12/25 Sun Child – I read that the original creator of the Solstice Along tweaked this day to honor the sun child. We will make offerings to Angus this day and visit family for their other celebrations.
12/26 Celebrations of winter/snow – We’ll plan to take another walk outside and make offerings to An Cailleach.
12/27 Celebration of the evergreen – We’ll make special offerings to the trees. If we didn’t wassail earlier, we’ll do it today for sure!
12/28 God/desses of the household (Brighid) – We’ll honor Brighid and thank her for keeping our home warm.
12/29 Shining ones – We’ll honor the gods and goddesses our tribe honors at the main altar.
12/30 Honor Ancestors – This was the “bringing in the boar” day, but I’ve decided to make this an occasion to honor all my ancestors.
12/31 Twelfth Night — Resolutions, divination, remembrances, and saining the home.
I hope that making the chain will help my daughter feel more involved. I’ll share some reflections later! Best of luck as you prepare for your own celebrations.