Q10: How Do You Celebrate in the Dark of Winter?



Last year, I started offering free ‘advent to epiphany’ restorative yoga classes…candlelight, essential oils, music, storytelling…all leading to winter solstice. The classes nourish me as much as the students, so I will hold them again this year.



In addition to customary holiday family get-togethers, our neighbourhood has a standing New Year’s Eve party. The tradition started ten years ago when a large snowstorm stranded everyone. To this day, in the dark of winter or the warmth of the summer sun, my neighbour-friends help honour every celebration!


Having lived a year in France, my wife and I fell in love with the Alps’ famed raclette—fondue’s lesser known, but sexier, cousine. Each winter since, we’ve indulged in a traditional long-table style dinner with close friends, great wine, and even yummier fromage.


I celebrate the simple wonders of nature. I cherish walks along the Fraser with the love of my life. This solstice, create a new tradition that brings peace. Write a poem. Light a candle. Renew, restore, and reflect. Find your joy!


December is a month where my wife and I plan to do everything. The goals are to prepare home-cooked meals, declutter our home, and save money. Instead, it is Netflix on all day, take-out each evening, and leaving everything for next December.


As the warmth of Christmas approaches, I love to sing the classics. I reflect on Christmas and its importance to children. I treat myself and my significant other to a lovely turkey dinner with all the trimmings.


I try to light up the night! Either with a fire at home sharing a nice glass of scotch or bourbon, or a huge bonfire with a group of friends on a beautiful beach somewhere local.


Easygoing is the watchword for our Christmas celebrations that are all about enjoying family and friends. Our celebratory dinner features international dishes that reflect our diversity. Best present-giving ever: poems and letters of appreciation from and to each of us.


Coming from a spiritual yet secular family with Christian and Jewish roots, I feel lucky that I get to celebrate the best of Christmas and Hanukkah. We have a Christmas tree  known as a “Hanukkah bush” that—among other decorations—is usually adorned with the Jewish Star of David at the top. Santa comes to our house, as does Hanukkah Harry. We have eggnog, but—more importantly—use the eight days of Hanukkah as a great excuse to eat latkes…lots of latkes.  


Our family of seven sing and pray around the breakfast table. In the mornings of winter, though it is dark outside, hearing our three-year-old belt out Joy to the World brings the light of Jesus into our day.