During this month where winter descends and our daylight hours are sparse, the gentle glow of light is something I love to celebrate. During our shorter days and long chilly nights I can’t seem to get enough warmth and light. Many evenings you will find me near a crackling fireplace with scented candles burning as I address my Christmas cards or wrap gifts… or just hang out with my husband and two big white pups.
Celebrations surrounding Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, as well as the winter solstice, are all made more festive and illuminated by light that sparkles and shines with the season.
Wishing you a warm and luminous holiday!
Wherever you live, you are certain to find festivals filled with the sparkle of the season! We are highlighting three wonderful celebrations—one in New York City, one in Columbus, Ohio and the third one in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Winter Solstice Concert at St. John the Divine, New York, NY
Enjoy music, dance and renewal of spirit at the great turning point of the year. This cross-cultural performance within the awe-inspiring space of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has become one of New York’s favorite holiday events (and a personal favorite of mine!). Winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year when we celebrate not only the rebirth of the sun, but also the community of life on earth. Bring home the sun at this New York City spectacle!
Light: Bruce Munro at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, OH
Bruce Munro’s imaginative and innovative light-based works create a captivating evening experience. Ten installations illuminate the Conservatory with additional works on view. Experience this special engagement at its most magical hour during a nighttime visit.
Hershey Sweet Lights, Hershey, PA
This winter wonderland is illuminated by nearly 600 animated displays. Enjoy from the comfort of your car as you travel through two miles of wooded trails. A great holiday tradition for families, the spirit of the holidays in Hershey glows brighter than ever!
DIY: Cityscape Luminaries
While luminaries have a long, multicultural history, their purpose is very simple—lighting the way in the dark of winter. A Nest for All Seasons has a great DIY tutorial on how to make these Cityscape Luminaries.
Kids Art: Crayon Color Block Candles
Whether you’re looking for a fun way to make gifts or an activity for kids, head over to Brit + Co. for a really fun tutorial on how to make color block candles from crayons (a great way to recycle, too!)
Glassybaby is a company that makes glass votives by hand in more than four hundred colors. Not only are each of these votives beautifully unique, they also contribute to a good cause. Creator and founder Lee Rhodes, who battled lung cancer, started Glassybaby as a way to spread hope and give back money from sales to help cancer patients. In 2011, Glassybaby had donated more than $600,000 to various charities, and Rhodes has stated that the goal is to donate 10% of all sales to charities.
Charity: One Million Lights
One Million Lights is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the daily lives of children and adults around the world by providing clean and healthy lighting. Their goal is to distribute 1,000,000 solar lights to replace dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps. To find out how you can donate or become involved in this great organization, visit One Million Lights’ website.