Seasonings Meanings:The Winter Solstice, Religion


This post may contain affiliate links.

*Ok so working on an old laptop, and a trigger happy pinky finger, this post just got published about 12 hours before I actually wanted it to…nothing like a little surprise publishing on a Monday morning, but hey, it’s all good.  Enjoy the “early” post.  Anyone else ever done this?  I know Deb has, anyone else?

How are you doing today?  What’s shaking sweetie pies?  I’m doing great and thanks for the awesome feedback on Diana of Soap & Chocolate’s Guest Post Yesterday which featured her take on Raw Vegan Peppermint Patties If you missed that one, check it out! 

Raw Vegan Peppermint Patties split in half showing coconut inside

Bite taken out of one Raw Vegan Peppermint Patty

And again, Thanks a Million, DianaYour creativity inspires me to stay inspired and I can’t wait to whip up some goodies when I return home from my trip!!!

A couple quick food highlights ’round here included a Kale Salad with Cukes, Brock, Sugar Snap Peas, and Cauli…

Kale salad with mixed vegetables in homemade slaw dressing

…dressed with my Homemade Vegan Slaw DressingSweet-n-Tangy goodness!

Close up of Kale Salad in Slaw Dressing

A Garden Salad for Scott with carrots, arugula (I love the peppery, spicy, bite of arugula!), sun-dried tomatoes (another girl I know has been using the Sun Dried Tomatoes lately, too), & cukes dressed with my homemade CreamyVegan Cesar-Inspired Tahini Dressing

Salad with CreamyVegan Cesar-Inspired Tahini Dressing topped with sun dried tomatoes

and a Baked Potato on the SideThat I nuked

Salad with CreamyVegan Cesar-Inspired Tahini Dressing and potatoes on side

Are microwaves safe?  Probably not but I use it anyway.  There’s a time and place for convenience and sometimes, you just gotta say, what the heck, I need to.  I try not to over-use it, but I also try not to overthink things and drive myself nutty!

And Skylar has been enjoying her Advent Calendar 

Little girl playing with advent calendar

Scott’s Jewish.  I’m not.  Anyone else raised in a split-religion house?  The Advent Calendar for us isn’t even Jesus’s Birth.  It’s about The Mouthful of Chocolate… 

Little girl sitting in chair making funny face

…And opening the cute little doors.

Little girl sitting and opening doors on advent calendar

I have such fond memories of Advent Calendars from my own childhood and she loves it, too!

Young girl wearing pink t-shirt sitting in chair at table

And she’s had lots of fun on Slides

Young girl sliding down slide into pool

And we’ve been to the Beach

Beach view of water with boats


Young girl in swimsuit playing on sandy beach

Where we’ve made lots of sand castles

Young girl smiling while playing in sand

And we’ve dug sand holes

Young girl standing in bathing suit on beach in front of lounge chairs

And laughed & loved alot

Woman and young girl posing and smiling for camera on beach


Young girl smiling while playing in sand on beach

Yoga Today is 108 Sun Salutations.
You’re thinking what???!!!  Why??!!!  

Don’t know what a Sun Salutation is?  Here’s the flow of one salutation.
Or here’s another.

What is the significance of the Winter Solstice?

Well the Winter Solstice, which occurs between Dec 20 & 21 every year, is today.  Meaning, it’s the shortest day of the year and the sun’s position in the sky is the lowest. The seasonal significance of the Winter Solstice means that until the Vernal Equinox, the days will begin to lengthen and nights will begin to shorten.   Many people celebrate Winter Solstice as a time of rebirth, a new beginning and a chance to marvel at the power of transition from darkness into light. 

It’s customary in yoga traditions to mark the Solstices with 108 Sun Salutations. 

Why 108 Sun Salutations?

I found this info which gives a succinct and clear explanation: 
There is a special significance to 108 in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. For instance, there are 108 beads in the mala of both traditions; there are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet and each has masculine and feminine, totaling 108; 1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands for Infinity. As we reflect on the significance of the sun, we are reminded that the sun is the illuminator of our world, that it is our primary source of heat and the giver of life. So come, honor the sun!

Or here’s Yoga Journal’s take on it.

You don’t have to do all 108 Sun Salutations; do as many as you feel is appropriate.  Heck, just do one!  Just be mindful and present, joyfully aware, that the days will now get longer and notice how this effects you in your daily life.  

If you’re religious, do you feel connected to the winter holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, in a meaningful way?  Or do you feel that the December Holidays have morphed into a time of retail gluttony and commercialism? Or, do you feel a bit of both?  Or, do you view this season as a time to simply connect with friends, family, and loved ones independent of everything else?

I am of the opinion that it’s wonderful to celebrate the holidays with my immediate family and although we don’t get caught up in gifts (I mentioned before that we don’t do gifts for any holidays anymore, which is very freeing and a gift in and of itself!), but I also have to stop and remind myself of the Christian significance of this time because, I admit, it does get a bit buried and lost for me otherwise.  But what’s your take on this time of year?  What does it mean for you?

As I asked in the post, too, did you grow up in a religious household?  Were your parents the same religion?  Did this or does that matter to you?  I know some of my friends, VeggieGirl, Katie of Faith Food & Fitness, and many more of you too, have strong faiths and I applaud people who believe in something and stand up for it, not only religious choices, but in general. 

Next Question…do you feel connected enough to yoga to even contemplate 108 Sun Salutations?  Is there a physical exercise or something you do that once upon a time you thought it was crazy but now you’ve accomplished it?  Marathon running or Century Bike Rides come to mind for me!  How about for you? 

Stay Tuned For More Guest Posties in the House and less Deep Thoughts.  It’s a Food Blog after all. Haha!…

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Thanks so much for the Beautiful Blogger Award Averie : ) I'm so happy to you are such a wonderful blogger friend. Maybe that we'll be in person one day soon : )

    Great facts about yourself! With a minor in Biology you could easily get a degree in nutrition. You're one step ahead of me that's for sure : )

    I can't wait to see if you get the Best of Raw Award!!!

    Have an awesome rest of your vacation!


  2. ah! thanks for the award my love! you are too sweet. i loved reading your answers and you are SUCH a beautiful blogger! so true, so true. you have lived EVERYWHERE! wow! and i didnt realize you were so tall. a whole 10" taller than me.. we NEED to hang out! i am loving all this averie in my life right now.. it is like christmas all over again!

  3. Congrats on the awards, girl! So glad to see everyone else loves you just as much as I do!!! :)
    You are awesome.

  4. Thank you again for the award! So sweet. :) Andd seriously, 5' 11", ah so tall. Skylar is gonna SKYrocket! hehe. Ohh holy geeze, with these puns.

    Boo to bad commenters. I've never gotten any, but maybe because I'm too safe? I'd like to take more risks with the blog.. but sometimes I hang back because I know so many of the little Tucson world I live in is chiming in! :/

  5. Again- some of these photos of you and Skylar, I just love. They are so sweet.

    The local bread looks rockin.

    I usually just smile and say thanks for gifts I won't use. Then it's Goodwilled!

    Wow, cant believe you're nearly 6 feet tall! Cool!

  6. I love love love the photo of you looking down at Skylar. It's a total Mommy Action shot! :-)

    Have a wonderful Christmas!


  7. Your daughter is so sweet and beautiful, what a smile! I am intrigued by that raw mac and cheese, must check it out! Merry Christmas!

  8. I have an om tattoo on my back:) I am quite sensitive as well, I think that is what lead me towards vegetarianism and yoga. The principle of ahmisa had resonated deeply with me since I was a teenager.

    All my best to you and your family this Christmas!

  9. Hi beautiful mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

    Oh you make me feel so warm!! I love you and your blog!!! The pictures of you and skylar are just PRECIOUS.

    tomorrow I am doing Indian food with the fam and a Buddhist/Indian studies professor from the university. LOW LOW KEY. Beach sounds amazing though- super jealz!!

    And wowwwwwwwwwwwwww! I had no idea you were so tall!! that is so cool!

    beautiful eats! esp the museli bread!!


  10. i droooled over that vegan mac and cheese! YUMMY!

    and congrats on your rewards <3 and thank you ever so much for rewarding me back<3 xox you are far to genuine and sweet. love you girly.

    i loved reading everything about you :) Its fun learning more about fellow bloggies!

    hmm. now something random about me? I used to be a gymnast! And placed third all around in my Province… :( sadly though, my eating disorder has stopped me from doing Gymnastics. it was once a true passion.

    Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones! XOXOX

  11. YAY! You deserve the award….flaunt it all you want, Averie!
    I spent Christmas Eve "touring" DC! :-)
    Merry Christmas!!!!

  12. Thank you for the award my love! I will do this after the holidays :)

    Your food makes my mouth water! I need to come stay with you for a while :)

    Merry Christmas doll!

    Love Kris

  13. congrats on your award my dear!

    hope you are enjoying your time and having a merry xmas eve! I am sure there is fun filled activites where you are!
    hmm I guess when talking about myself it depends WHAT I am talking about, I dont like to brag about myself in the least! but I love telling people interesting facts about myself!

    hmm something random about me…I am such a sappy romantic! I love girly things, flowers, candles, roses anything that you would call 'romantic' I am SUCH a sucker…it doesnt really work in my favor bc my BF is the opposite! lol but I am working on him!


  14. merry christmas my dear!!! and thanks for the award…i hope you and your fam are having a blast. i love reading those things about others. and im sorry people leave negative comments, but just remember thats their own insecurities coming through and has very little (if anything) to do with you. smooches my dear, and heres to a happy healthy 2010!

  15. Happy Holidays! Thanks for sharing!

    My illness has really helped me evolve in sooooo many ways at only 25 years of age. I love and respect myself now, so it is easy to talk about my strengths and accomplishments. Nothing wrong with it!

  16. Oh Averie, thank you so much for this beautiful award! You totally deserve to brag all about your own awards… you are SUCH a wonderful, passionate, loving, woman, and I admire you so much!!! You have given me so much strength with your words, thoughts and prayers lately. I feel so grateful to have you in my life.

    Ok, can I just say that your Om tattoo is amazing??? So much significance in such a small symbol. :)

    Merry Christmas Averie!!!


  17. This post is a case "MUCH TOO MUCH TOO COMMENT ON" haha – I'm dissapointed I'm not included – haha – no! Love it! Great eats…have yourself a beautiful Xmas girl – you deserve it :)

  18. Great post!! Love your honesty. Congrats on the Beautiful Blogger award. You truly deserve it. Your hard work, sincerity and effort show in all your posts! I enjoy reading about your positive, high energy lifestyle. I find it is so much more beneficial to ourselves and those around us to be mindful and approachable. Mean doesn't work, positive and inspirational does!!

    xxoo HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family :)

  19. Hey girly! Our Christmas eve is pretty low key this year. I had to work, Josh and I went to the gym, now we're relaxing and planning on going out to eat later. How good do those raw chocolate cupcakes look? I'd like a few of those along with your Muesli bread! Which of your tattoos is your favorite and why? I have moved around quite a bit too: NJ, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina :) Its fun to experience new places!! Merry (almost) Christmas!!

  20. Averie!! girl you are SO sweet, thank you for the shoutout. you def are such a beautiful blogger-i love how your soul shines through your posts and you seriously are so beautiful!! you are such a great blogger friend and your comments always make me smile!!

    i hope you and your family have such a blessed christmas! i cant WAIT to hear about it! lots of love your way!

  21. I took some of my time and voted for you…despite spending nearly 30min to do this because I had some internet connection problems and had to do it all over 3x, haha. But you deserve it :)

    I wonder why you arent in the 'funniest raw vegan woman' though. ;)

    And I'll definately be freezing my 'overnight' oats (swiss oats)from now on. You can check out my recipes :

    Merry Xmas Eve to you too! :)

  22. My Christmas Eve has been busy! I'm definitely hoping the "family time and relaxation" is to come tonight and tomorrow.
    I hope santa finds skylar well :-)

  23. Averie, you and your daughter are beautiful! You look so incredibly happy and at peace in that photo! Merry Christmas!!!!

    I made some peppermint patties yesterday using your Creme de Menthe brownie recipe (the middle layer) and just posted some photos on my blog.

    My entire family loves them; they are almost gone in less than 24 hours! I am already thinking about making more. Thanks for the recipe!

  24. what a gorgeous little girl you have! such a sweet smile!
    hmmm….random facts…well, I've been riding horses since I was 3 and I attended the same school from ages 3-18. Also, I'm an ecology & evolutionary biology major.

  25. Aww thanks so much for the awards! your too sweet!! And that's so awesome you graduated that young.. I got my LPN when I was 18! We have a lot in common :)

    And I don't have thick skin either. I've been fortunate not to receive any mean comments on my blog.. yet.. but when I do I know it'll hurt my feelings!

    Have a wonderful Christmas eve with your beautiful family!!

  26. Serioulsy Averie…THANK YOU.
    I am so touched!

    I love your 7 random facts! I could tell you were tall but 5"11? I am 5'6"…I would love to be another inch or two taller!

    and a BA by 20…That is AMAZING Lady! I gave up on higher edu! life is what it is.

    I know you are sensitive too! I am very thin skinned!

    What are we doing tonight and tomorrow? not much. Dada has JJ's jeep put together and charging so we are going to have fun with a few gifts for him. Late tomorrow my Pops will be in town and my sis and little brother will spend the night and we are having some family time Saturday afternoon. I am looking forward to that but Xmas eve and day is just us. It feels odd for me but it's also very peaceful. I think next year will go easier. I will already be used to these changes.

    well, enjoy the warm Aruba air and the beach. build some sand snowmen and a big big hug to you and your family!

    I'll post my 7 facts maybe in tonight's post!

  27. Love your tat! And the food pics, of course.

    We sometimes go to midnight mass, usually get take out for dinner and drive around to look at Christmas lights.

    BUT this year my sister is on a high school french exchange program, so she's not home and my flight doesn't get home in until christmas morning, so things will be different, but still full of joy for sure. My parents and brother will have a lonely eve.

  28. Omg! Congrats on the award. I loved reading those facts. Wow graduated at 20 with a Psych degree. That is very impressive!!
    Thank you so much for passing this along to me. I feel so incredibly honored and cant wait to write it up. Thank you so much! =)

    Oh and I absolutely voted for you for the raw awards. Im ssooo incredibly excited for ya. Im actually going to go to the awards ceremony since its in Santa Monica which is about 10 minutes away from me. So i'll be there to support you and cheer you on sweetie!

    I gotta say too, those chocolate brownie oats look incredible. Im so craving chocolate right now and it looks sssoo fabulous. Once these christmas cookies are outta my freezer Im gonna have to make a big batch of them!! Looks awesome.

    The mac and cheese looks great too. Very cool guest post! I used to love mac and cheese but dont eat it anymore since its not too healthy but now maybe I can have my mac back.

    Tonight we are celebrating with friends which is nice. Usually I fly home to see my family or to Texas to see my husbands family but this year we had to stay put for the time being. But I feel really lucky to have good friends to celebrate with as well. So will be a fun night.

    I wish you and your family a wonderful and absolutely fabulous holiday!!

  29. awww pum'kin! thanks so much for the award sweetie. If there was a "bloggie BFF who is the hottest raw foodie/yogini ever" I'd totes give it to you :) congrats, babe. You deserve all the recognition in the world!

    Hope you have a Christmas eve to remember with the little peanut. Love you tons! xo

  30. Wow, just when I think you cannot awe me more…you do. Each of your facts is outstanding, don't know where to begin. I think that one about feeling things deeply really depicts you also…you seem to tune in to what others feel.
    That muslei bread looks neat-o…looks like cinnamon raisin bread types that smell so lovely in the toaster…I hope you are having a safe and happy Eve of Christmas.
    And thank you so much for passing the "award" on to me…so sweet…really.
    I actually did it before…but its kinda fun to do again sometime…makes a person think..take care.

  31. Hey, I totally just blogged my 7 random things upon receiving the same Beautiful Blogger honour from Gena. Too cool! They're kinda from childhood/teenage years, but I guess that's what I remember the most these days! I have yet to experience life beyond my 20 years !

    As for the Best of Raw awards – hello? Sexy raw woman! That's YOU! :)

    P.S. Your gluten-acious bread looks SOOOOO GOOD.

  32. I got the award and did my facts here:

    Wow you're tall! I can't picture you living in MN. I just can't. I had the same kind of memory in school. Psych/Bio at 20? Dang, girl. What's your day job?? Smartypants! :)

    (I am extremely sensitive too – I can't watch the news or I cry. It goes beyond empathy, doesn't it)

    I find it easy to talk about myself because I do it in an I-relate-to-you way. I like listening to other people and sharing things – the first 20yrs of my life were so beyond dysfunctional I need the reassurance it's not just me, and conversely, I have some dang funny/unbelievable stories from it that just make good anecdotes.

  33. IVE missed commenting.. its sooo tough when we are away. (which we will be for another week!!)

    CONGRATS On your award, Averie!! You deserve it for sure.

    Christmas eve=buffet din at my house with just my immediate family. Prob be watching some sort of will ferrell movie.. lol.


  34. So jealous of all the wonderful fresh fruit you're getting there!! And that muesli bread!! Droooool….

    Thanks for the award dahlin' I will definitely display it on my blog very soon ;) I LOVE hearing random facts about people too. Mine: I used to play guitar and sing in an all-girl punk band ;)

  35. Congrats on the awards! It was fun learning seven random things about you!

    I would pick to live in Southern California as well! I'm also almost 5'11''. And I have a B.A. in Psychology (but I wasn't 20 when I graduated). Anyway, this was fun… :)

    Have a fun day at the beach today! We are planning on a relaxing day today. My in-laws are coming over for our traditional salmon dinner, but it's going to be low key.

  36. Averie, THANK YOU! This gives me warm fuzzies, esp. since you're right that I got it from Gena earlier this week too. Now I REALLY have to do that post, haha! Hopefully it'll go up tonight. :)

    PS I just read the Pure2Raw post and loved their mac n cheese idea–definitely great for something different, especially since everything I've heard about them before now had to do with their baked goods. So intrigued to see their quinoa recipe! Will have to check out their blog more regularly.


  37. omg. i'm really sensitive too! anytime something negative happens i take it REALLY to the core!
    hmm. i find it REALLY hard to brag about myself. i know on my blog i'm like WOO HOO i ran well today- that's the extent of my gushing about myself. otherwise, i'm really modest. D always says i don't give myself enough credit. lol. interesting fact: hmm. i'm a twin. identical. my dad's brother married my mom's sister. and..i still wear shorts on dates and in 40 degree weather. lol.

  38. Merry Christmas! : )

    My mother's birthday is christmas day so my family spends the night at my parents' house christmas eve and santa comes to visit even though my brother is 27 and I'm 23 : )

    Just voted for you, BTW : )
    Enjoy Aruba!

  39. Thanks for the shout out Averie! Christmas Eve will be spent baking with the brother and lying around watching movies with the family! We're under a Winter Weather warning! Fun fact? I won a state wide geography contest when I was in the 4th grade!

  40. wonderful awards – congrats :)

    Christmas eve is going to be spent at my house with my immediate family and cousins. We are having dinner then going to church.

    Merry Christmas!! I am envious of your location – Aruba sounds divine!

  41. CONGRATS on your award!! Photographic memories are the best, aren't they? I love it.

    Christmas Eve = my real Christmas celebration with family. I hope you guys enjoy your holiday!!