Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Solstice 2012

This was our second year celebrating the Winter Solstice with our friends the Watts.  It is a fun and crazy celebration.  One our expect none the less when Merrill Watts is involved.

We headed out of town at about 4:30.  We went via the airport so we could drop a car off for Logan who was flying in at about 7:00.  We then headed up to campground on Mt. Hood to join the Watts and some of their friends for the celebration.

Dec. 21st, the shortest day of the year is the Winter Solstice.  Fortunately it was not the end of the world as many had predicted using the mayan calendar!!

Tradition from the Nordic is that a tree is burned to welcome back the sun.  That tradition than became the burning of the traditional Christmas yule log.

Merrill takes the tradition back to it's roots though and part of the celebration involves the burning of an actual tree.  They always dry out a tree in their basement in preparation.

First we had dinner which is a compilation of "pagan", medieval food.  It always includes hot dogs which we roasted over the fire.  This year we also had an elk, mushroom stew which was interesting.  Jim liked it.
I took a rustic apple tart and there was other cheeses and meats and hot chocolate to keep us warm.

 The girls had fun seeing their friends Lindsay and Kelsi Watts

 There is always music involved with the Watts.  Merrill taught us the song O Solstice Tree to the tune of O Christmas Tree.  It was hilarious

 Then we were ready for the burning of the Solstice Tree.  Since it was supposedly the end of the world we all brought something to sacrifice.  The items were placed in a box and burned.  We also each placed an ornament (wadded up newspaper) into the tree and shared something we were thankful for.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Ships

It has been years since we have been down to the river to see the Christmas Ships but Cali had it on her list of things to do over the break so we headed down to the Wilamette River  on Tuesday night.  It was cold so we bundled up and took hot chocolate with us.

It wasn't as big or exciting as we remembered it being but it was fun to be down on the river and see all the pretty lights.  Love Portland at night with all the bridge lights.  We drove through downtown on the way home to check out the tree at Pioneer Courthouse Square.