"Solstice" comes from two Latin words: sol (meaning sun) and sistere (to cause to stand still).
I have decorated the tree with lights and cloth birds and small glass silver balls. Also red bows!
The cedar tree is still young and is all prickly; it leaves little scratches on my arms as I reach in to string the lights. There is only one small strand of lights on the tree. That's enough, don't you think? It smells so good.
The one we have brought into the house over the last few years has gotten too big. Last year it's roots have broken through the bottom of the clay pot. We moved it into the herb garden a month ago, and decided it was to stay there. We will plant it into the ground once the winter is past.
So, this year, a new cedar has come to grace our house with greenery for the cold December day. Tom bought it from a local family nursery. He planted it in a terra-cotta pot. It is a little bigger than the size we have started out with in years past. It might not make it as a "coming in" tree for more than another two years. But, this year it is glorious!
I love the tradition of bringing greenery into the house. It is hard to truly imagine how cold and isolated and maybe fearful of the "light or Spring not returning" our ancestors might have been so long ago. I keep the tradition because I try to keep myself reminded that no matter how technologically advanced we become, we are of the Earth; our bodies are Earth. So, these little rituals are a simple, elegant connectedness to the natural world.
And, yeah, presents look really nice underneath it (the tree) as well!
I hope you have presents under your tree!