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Saturday, December 22, 2012

A New Old Tradition (and S'mores!)

An era ended and a new one began on 12-21-12 according to some interpretations of the Mayan Calendar. We're all still  here so I'm going with that. A new tradition started in our family which rings in a new era for Tortuga Flats Farm.

The mid-winter Solstice celebration has been around as far back as history is recorded. Cultures all over the world celebrated the darkest time of winter. Neolithic farmers were fearful that the sun and their crops might not return. Fire played a part in symbolically bringing back the warm sunny days. Romans decorated their homes with evergreen plants and had various celebrations to lift the spirits during the long winter months. Celtic traditions are many for winter and the Solstice. Native Americans had Solstice traditions. It was a time to reflect on the past year and hope for the new. Sprinkled in all these traditions across the globe were Shaman gift givers, Santas in various forms, holly, ivy, bells and all the other things we associate with Christmas.

As farmers, we decided to start our own traditions for this season. Our first Solstice included a meal with much of our own produce, a fire and reflection (and of course s'mores!) and the exchanging of gifts. I doubt the ancient neolithic farmers had s'mores but after all that reflection, chocolate and marshmallows were in order. On Christmas Eve we will have another big dinner and continue to give thanks. Christmas morning we will empty our stockings and see what Santa brought us. We'll then go south and visit the rest of our family.

We had a great time with our first Solstice. We decided it could evolve and include others in our celebration. Next year, we will for sure have one new person, my granddaughter! She won't be able to add verbally to the fire circle, but her presence will add to our richness.

If you'd like to see some more of our Solstice celebration pictures, you can go to my personal Facebook page where I've posted other shots. Click on photos and then go to the Solstice album.

And if you haven't yet "liked" my author page on Facebook, I welcome you to do so. Would love to see you there.


  1. Great to see the pictures on FB and as always, love to hear of the latest adventures on the Flats. Merry Christmas to you and the family!

    1. Have a beautiful Christmas, Jody. Looking forward to another year of reading your stories!

  2. What a nice idea. We may very well adopt it ourselves!
    Happy Christmas, Brenda and a bright, glorious and wildly successful New Year

  3. Brenda,

    I generally lurk on the Desert Rose loop but just had to click through and see what you and your family did for Solstice. While I do celebrate Solstice I hadn't thought of S'Mores! Usualy here in Oregon it is wet and cold (30 - 40 degrees) so the outdoor fire isn't done either. But a fire in the fireplace, sipping a hot cup of chocolate or tea after going out and looking at the light-decorated houses has been tradition for twenty years. (We usually talk about the year past and the year to come as we are driving around - in between the oohhs and aahhs). May the growing light of the new year continue to shine over Tortuga Farms.

    1. That's a great way to celebrate, Judith. I wish we had a fireplace so our celebration around the fire would've lasted longer. Pregnant Christie couldn't take the cold too long. We were under 40 degrees that night. Love Oregon. My husband's family is from there. Thank you for your wishes and may you also have a bright and beautiful 2013.