In the old days, people would hibernate somewhat in the winter.  Tools would be repaired, activities went from tending the earth to resting.  Animals were tended but outside work was minimal mostly because the weather prohibited it.  Though there were worries about food and fuel lasting through the dark times, it was a quieter more restful time of the year.

Now we don't have the luxury of staying indoors by a warm fire.  We also don't have to worry about food or fuel being scarce.  The frenetic pace of life continues even when we get a snowstorm dropping inches of snow on us.  We wait until the plows dig us out and continue with our lives.  Rarely do we take a day or week or more to stay at home, cuddle in and ignore the fast pace life we normally have.  

Winter is supposed to be about rest.  Because in the old days they didn't have electricity which made it easy for them to stay up and keep working, people would sleep more, have sex more, and relax more.  This is almost the exact opposite of what our current society does.  

From Thanksgiving to Christmas everything seems to speed up.  There are holiday parties, end of year preparations, and a variety of other tasks.  After going all summer with the outdoor activities, we don't slow down and let the world pass us by while we recuperate from the busyness of life.  

This winter I'll have about twelve days off in a row.  My plan is to do some batch cooking to make sure we have plenty of food, spend time with my daughter, and craft - she'll knit and I'll crochet.  While I'm slowing down for these twelve days, I'll also settle into my normal sleep rhythm which is to stay up later and sleep later.  

Slowing down, settling in, and taking the time to honor the natural activities of this time of year helps me rejuvenate my energy.  It brings me back into balance and centers my mind and spirit.  I take the time to consider where I am and where I want to be next year when I will hopefully have some down time again.  

There's no ritual or ceremony I do.  But I allow my body and my mind to settle into a natural rhythm for me.  The activities I plan - cooking and crocheting - take me back to my roots.  I honor the earth with the food I cook.  I honor the sacrifice of the animals and the bounty of the plants.  My daughter and I do large batch cooking so we'll make a couple hundred meatballs, several pans of lasagna, chicken dishes, and others.  

The connection with family reminds me of my childhood and of my ancestors.  I reconnect to my roots while being in the moment with my daughter and preparing for the future.  

The solar year is coming to a close.  The weather (at least in Wisconsin) is cold, snowy, and restrictive.  I'll take advantage of that by sitting by the fire to crochet or cooking with one of my daughters.  We'll spend time together talking, connecting, and enjoying each other.  While it isn't weeks or months of hibernation, it is a few days of letting go and taking the time to rebalance.