We found many pine cones and pine leaves, and a handful of some type of nut. Also an orange-berry plant that was almost a mediterranean version of holly. I will go back for that one as only a small group of berries had fallen. But it felt like it was calling to me. We also picked a few sea-smoothed pebbles and stumbled across a sole weather-preserved pomegranate.
Someone I know asked why we just didn't get a big tree, to decorate with tinsel and baubles. I explained that we didn't celebrate Xmas so it wasn't relevant. And although this had a similarity to it, I enjoyed the naturalness and simplicity of the found bits of nature. It was the tree idea in its origins.
Over here, and in DIY Dad's family, they celebrate Xmas on the 7th of January, from the Orthodox calendar. Although the Mr celebrates he is a non-be;iever, so it's only about tradition. Every family goes out in search of their oak branch or branches. I remember last year seeing branches sticking out from the back of almost every car a couple of days before. They also sometimes pin a small oak branch on the front of the family car. Of course, they would deny any pagan connections, *chuckle*
It's a simple symbol. Unadorned. It's the tree idea back to its origins.
The solstice has no religious connections, it is not encumbered with beliefs. It is nothing more than the cycle of nature. Connecting to nature, we connect to everything that is Life. Connecting to its cycles is connecting to our own rhythm and process of being human and being of nature too. To remain in the connection, we do not take the growing, but instead only what is fallen.
So in a similar way to the Orthodox oak branches, and to the original Christmas trees, we invite nature into the house. To symbolise the change of the seasons. The relationship of light and dark, of Light and Dark, of cold and warmth, of growth and rest, of death and rebirth.
I'm very okay with the lack of glitter and plastic.