This year, the winter solstice – also known as Blue Christmas – is on December 21st. If you’re sick of the same old lame Christmas parties with bad music, eggnog and awful sweaters, it might be time to create your own tradition and celebrate like out pagan ancestors. Since our culture is mostly secular these days anyway, it makes more sense to celebrate the solstice as the halfway point of winter: the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It is a way of paying tribute to the nature of our galaxy and the astronomical changes, which can feel more appropriate if you are not particularly religious. Additionally, Christmas can feel like a decadent celebration of capitalism and overconsumption while having a potluck and drinking some good wine on the shortest day of the year is more a celebration of community and personal connections.
In this post, we’ll recommend several ideas that you could implement rather than the same old worn out Christmas traditions.
Having games at the ready can encourage people to mingle and have a good time, and provides a little bit of structure to the party. Obviously Twister is a big hit because it gets people moving and laughing and certainly can encourage a bit of flirtation. Crokinole is game that was invented in Canada in 1876, that happens to be very popular with Mennonite and Amish communities. It blends together aspects of curling and darts and can be played in teams of two with players taking turns. Always a hit at parties! You can also just dig into your old board game closet and see what’s available. Anything goes at a Solstice party!
Hire A Bartender:
If you’re looking to rent a mobile bar for your solstice party, consider designing a limited cocktail menu with lots of whiskey based drinks to warm your guests up. Penicillin and Old Fashioned cocktails are amazing in the winter, and if your bartender knows what they’re doing, you’re in for a treat. Natural wines (that is, wines that are produced without using chemicals and minimal technological interference) are also delicious and very popular right now. Since you’re celebrating our relationship with the earth and the movement of the planets, it makes sense to imbibe wine that was produced using natural methods.
Serve Up Some Middle Eastern Food
Serve up a salad of fresh figs and baked sweet potatoes with bitter greens to please your vegetarian guests, alongside grilled meat skewers for your more carnivorous guests. Additionally, you can do up a couscous dish with tomato and onion very easily to serve a large party of guests. The couscous is for everyone! For more amazing ideas for hearty middle eastern food – such as lamb shawarma and sweet chicken cooked with orange and Arak, check out any cook book by the team of Ottolenghi and Tamimi, an Israeli and Palestinian chef, respectively, who have some truly amazing recipes. In the heart of winter, spicy middle-eastern dishes always hit the spot!