Solstice/New Year's Eve gratitude ritual

December 22, 2014

Our family for many years has practiced a gratitude ritual together on the evening of the longest night of the year.  We gather around the fireplace with a basket full of new pillar candles and make ourselves comfortable.  Then, one by one, we speak aloud the many things we are grateful for in the past year.  Even the kids take a long time about this, because even teenagers who ordinarily complain a great deal know that there is much in our lives to celebrate.  

At the end of the litany of gratitude, each person makes a wish for the coming year, lights their candle, and places it in its place in the candelabra in the fireplace to burn as a candle spell over the longest night.

You may wish to try this with your family, whatever their various religious faiths... it is a simple ceremony that can be meaningful in the context of many seasonal festivals of lights.  The ceremony works as well on New Year's Eve as it does on Solstice night, if the timing works better for your family.

 

If you can't arrange to do it with others, though, it is still effective if you do it yourself this season.  Write down in your journal or say aloud the things you are grateful for about your life in the past year.  Even if it has been a hard one, there was light in the darkness you can focus on.  Then make a wish for the coming year, light a candle and let it burn down.

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