December 20th, 2013


Welcome to my solstice celebration.

Why do I celebrate the solstice?
Well it's not out of some neo-pagan desire to get away from Christmas. I am Christian and I celebrate Christmas too. But I also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, so for me the waxing and waning on the light is of particular personal importance. Tonight is the longest, darkest night (at least symbolically, the longest night actually varies depending on where you are, but the solstice comes close enough.) But with the dawn comes the hope of better, brighter days. So I will keep vigil all night tonight in symbolic affirmation that the darkest times can be endured and that, as the psalmist said, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

How do I celebrate the solstice?
The biggest part is the candle. I buy a pillar candle long enough to burn through the night, from sunset to sunrise, every year during the summer. Theoretically on the summer solstice, to "store" the summer light for winter, but this year I kind of forgot. It worked out though because in August I ended up spending a day next to a bee keeper at the Saturday Market, and after talking to her about her wax and her bees, her struggles with colony collapse disorder, and her work making and selling candles, I felt like I knew the bees who'd made the wax and the person who'd made the candle a bit, which is good.

This is a time of personal renewal for me, so it's also all about what I like, what makes me happy, and what *doesn't* add to the holiday stresses. :) So I buy good food, and feast and sing my way through the night. And I do it without inviting company over because having company over is draining, not restoring. But feeling alone is also draining, so I encourage my friends to attend virtually, where we can talk and share and support each other through the night.

If you want to attend you don't have to stay the whole vigil through, you can come when you like and go when you like. All are welcome.

As usual, you can join me live and direct in my irc chat room, #freespace on

Or you can participate in the comments here.

This entry was originally posted at