The sun sets more than it rises at this time of year, and many of us are being hit with an (un)healthy dose of Seasonal Affective Disorder. We could all use a little more Vitamin D and some good old fashioned merry-making! In many peoples’ minds, the winter months, beyond two almost universally-celebrated gatherings (Christmas and New Years, duh), are a time to hunker down and wait out the cold inside. But why not continue the festive spirit inaugurated by Christmas and New Year celebrations? Why let that energy die? Contrary to popular sentiment, winter is the perfect time to party! Whether you come in a tux or that hideous sweater from Aunt Millie, we think it’s about time you booked your favorite event space and threw a cold weather warmer!
Child’s Play: For The Kid In All Of Us
Maybe it’s Christmas and its intrinsic nostalgia, or New Years and its sense of rebirth, but more than any other season, winter makes adults feel like children again. Why not incorporate this youthful spirit into your next party?
Serve classic childhood favorites like macaroni and cheese, and play games that recreate favorite childhood memories. Our favorite? See who can catch the most mini marshmallows with their tongue, like snowflakes.
Solstice Parties: For The Pagan In All Of Us
So, technically, the winter solstice is in December, and it marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. It also marks the official beginning of winter for everybody who lives in the Northern Hemisphere. And while it may have passed you by, you can still celebrate!
There is historical evidence of the winter solstice being marked through celebration as early as the Neolithic period, from around 4,500 to 2,000 BCE. At that time, almost every important human event was scheduled based on astronomical events, including animal husbandry and all agricultural practices. And no astronomical event was more important than the Winter Solstice, which marked the coming of the harsh winter months. This was an exceedingly dangerous time for early man. Starvation was extremely common during the first few summer months. Much like animals entering hibernation, early humans would feast decadently on the Winter Solstice, in preparation for the possibility of extreme privation during the winter.
Most livestock was killed off near the Winter Solstice, often ritualistically, because the human population couldn’t afford to feed it out of their own resources. But this meant that the Winter Solstice was also the only time that human populations were treated to an abundance of fresh meat. And while the impending cold of January (which of course wasn’t called “January” at the time) held the promise of preserving some of this meat, the population still feasted tremendously.
Now, while all of this may seem morbid, it really just reveals how awfully difficult it was to be alive during humanity’s infancy. And it’s a good reminder of how comparatively lucky we are to live in the contemporary world, in which many of us have access to fresh food year-round and central heating. Celebrate the relative ease of modern living by throwing your very own Winter Solstice party! Make sure to decorate that banquet hall or event venue with plenty of natural imagery, like rising suns and fir trees!