It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

What does the winter solstice (21 Dec) mean to you?

There are a total of 406 votes:

It means that I have a long way to go before the weather gets better
(60 votes, 14%)
Red dot

I'm glad, because each day gets a bit longer
(304 votes, 74%)
Red dot

It is our Summer Solstice, and our longest day of the year
(9 votes, 2%)
Red dot

There is not much difference in the seasons where I live
(19 votes, 4%)
Red dot

What is the Winter Solstice?
(14 votes, 3%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Lake Placid, FL(Zone 9b)

Alright, the first vote!! I like the longer days so it's nice to get the shortest one out of the way.
Me and my caladiums don't like this time of the year...lolol...

Coffs Harbour, Australia

Mmm, must be an important topic then?
It was yesterday, and I missed it! It did seem like a long day though, which gave me plenty of time for sprucing up the garden for xmas! (then the wind came and blew leaves, branches and bark everywhere) LOL
Merry xmas everyone!

Thumbnail by weed_woman

I voted that I'm glad that each day is getting longer but it is so much more than that to me. I've celebrated it as a holiday since I was a child. It's a day of hope and new beginnings.

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

I see I'm the first pessimist in the bunch, LOL. I voted it's a long time before the weather gets better. After an ice storm that knocked out power for days and then 3 significant snowstorms all within 2 weeks - I'm ready for spring!

Wheatfield, NY(Zone 6a)

I do look forward to the days getting longer...don't care for the darkness.

Songs, I can understand you being discouraged right now. You've really been hit hard. We've had the snowstorms (supposed to end today), but were spared the ice storm.

West Warren, MA

So sad for all that lost power and some 'still' don't have any.
Will pray we can all enjoy a warm Christmas in our homes.
Lots of snow and cold today!! Miss my time in Fl. this time of year but enjoy the
Getting in garden books and planning the church garden for 'Spring'..thinking of getting
a collapsable greenhouse to help....anyone ever use one???
Merry Christmas All !!

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

the 21st 2008-means my son is 25yrs old and its the day after my 15yr olds birthday!!
The days start getting longer and i cant wait for spring!!!

happy birthday to both my boys-last day of fall and first day of winter! :)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I voted GLAD, Glad, glad! Where I live, tomorrow will be 5 seconds longer!!! Imperceptible but it helps me anticipate the long and sweltering days of summer. Come on... summer!

Southern Mountains, GA(Zone 6b)

The days get longer, maybe even a little warmer. And it's my birthday!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Happy Birthday Roseone33! Hmmm... seems like lots of birthdays at this time. Do you think there is something astrological that triggers it? There are some in our family yesterday/today too.

Perth,, ON(Zone 5a)

one day closer to starting seeds in the spring.....

Emory, TX(Zone 8a)

Time for wintersowing!

Land of OZ, CT(Zone 6a)

What is winter sowing?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haaaaaaaa! I agree with song, it is difficult to feel optimism in the face of 3:30 pm sunsets, successive ice/snow storms. But I have to look at the positive in order to deal w/all that. Bring on spring!

(Zone 5a)

Sunrise on this shortest day of the year was at 11:22 am and sunset at 3:30 pm so I'm very glad that the days will gradually be getting longer :-)


Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

Those of us with Seasonal Affective Disorder look forward to increased sunlight!


longer days, please!!!!

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

I always look forward to the Solstice so the days can start getting longer. I look at a chart I find on the Weather Channel to find out sunrise and sunset. At first the days are only a few seconds longer but before long it is a minute or so per day and after that a couple of minutes. Not long after that you can actaully tell the difference in day length.
I don't know if I really have SAD but, I tell you I really don't like the lack of sun in the winter. Best winters for me I get out in what sun we have -- skiing, shoveling snow, whatever I can come up with.
I am told that ancient peoples celebrated the Solstice as the return of the Sun. There is a great novel called House Made of Dawn by Scott Momaday in which he describes Native Americans running on the dawn of the solstice to get the sun and bring it back. Lovely description.

Santa Fe, NM

Yes! The return of the sun. A beautiful holiday celebrated throughout the Rocky Mt. region with hula skirts, poker and special reviving drinks. Lovely, indeed.

Christchurch, New Zealand

it was Summer solstice here in NZ - but an unseasonal cold snap meant we had to turn on the boiler at work & light the pellet fire at home...

I'm dreaming of a bright Xmas Day,
Celebrated in the downunder way
Kiwi style with sunshine & heat!
Fresh leafy salads & barbequed meat
I'll be sipping champers out in the shade
or maybe an icy cold lemonade
We'll open the presents from under the tree
And sing Xmas carols joyfully
Try to tire the kids with a trip to the park
Then put them to bed complaining 'cause it's not dark
So to those rugged up warm for winter's cold bite
Merry Christmas to all & to all a good night.
Cheers - Dalfyre

Emory, TX(Zone 8a)

Very nice poem! And Merry Christmas to you! Stay cool!

(Debra) Derby, KS(Zone 6a)

Winter is here, cold and frosty, blowing winds that chill the bones, winters' icy paths give way to longer brighter days..
Winter sowing keeps me busy, pretending that it is spring.. just can't wait to see what's next....the little seeds that sing..

Thumbnail by joeswife
Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

I have a count down on my calendar of how many weeks until Spring beginning on 12/21; 13 weeks until Spring. At least, I'm not counting the days.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Look at it as the old timers did. The winter solstice is the beginning of spring. Days begin to be longer the day after the solstice. For the ancients, the winter solstice was the first day of spring. It is the weather bureau and the astronomers who gave it such a depressing name -- first day of winter. Sheesh! I see yesterday as the first day of spring!

Madison, IL(Zone 6b)

It's the road conditions that I have to drive on getting back & forth to work this time of year. Freezing rain is in the forecast again today and tomorrow. I'm fine with this not being my favorite time of the year. I just really welcome Spring's arrival!

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I voted I'm glad, but I'm just glad. I love winter. Of course, down here there is precious little of it!

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Hey I voted for a long wait for spring but at least the seed catalogs are coming in. and I do have a few winter projects to work on.
Days do seem to go by very fast, so I am not really complaining. I will be busy with gardening soon enough. I guess the only reason it seems long as it takes quite a bit to keep the house warm.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Down for me too - very depressing. Winterwsowing is good, but I have to wait until after Christmas, which is scary for some reason.

Brazoria, TX(Zone 9b)

ditto podster

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I do have SAD, I'm sure of it. Because I can almost feel my mood lifting as the warmer weather gets closer. I hate cold weather, which is why I live in Southeast Louisiana. It is 10:30pm, and it's 67 degrees outside. Makes me want to go work in the yard.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

The soltice to me means a beautiful night sky with beautiful bright stars.

I'm a SAD victem too and usually get iced-snowed in here on my mountain like now. I keep busy cooking goodies,crocheting,making ornaments,breathing in seed catalogs, I have many spring flowers to look forward to the last of Februry. Depression wont hit me till after Christmas, but i will survive.

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

It means the coldest month of the year is about to start for us up here in NY... January!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I'm so excited when Winter officially starts. It means that Spring is next - and what I look forward to are longer days & warmer weather.
I hate being cold or going out in the cold.

Central, VA(Zone 7b)

Merry Christmas to all and God bless my DG friends, each and everyone.

Seward, AK(Zone 7b)

I'm looking forward to the gaining of more daylight. We are down to less than 6 hours of daylight right now, but I do love this time of year, as it brings me my beautiful winter birds. I feed hundreds of birds during the winter. Right now, I have around 80 pine grosbeaks, 40 pine siskins (they, along with redpolls will show up by the hundreds by January), dozens of junkos, black capped and chestnut backed chickadees, downy and hairy woodpeckers, white-winged and red crossbills, bohemian waxwings, red breasted nuthatches, several different kinds of sparrows and a few other species. I think I went through 500 lbs. of sunflower seeds last winter. I spends hours standing at the windows watching these beautiful creatures every winter. Yep....I love this time of year.

Thumbnail by avaeads
Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

Call me crazy, but I did notice a slightly lighter horizon earlier in the morning the day after!!!!!

Although our freezes started a month early here and I know we haven't seen the last of it, I look forward to more open window weather.


San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

So where was the "other" answer option on this poll?

The winter solstice is a very spiritual time & special time around the world. It is the longest night, the time between the end of the outgoing year and the beginning of the incoming year. A window between the worlds. The stars are brighter (if you are stargazing away from city lights). It is a time for celebrating and feasting (fattening up for the long winter ahead), telling stories (preferably by firelight), singing songs and being cozy with family, friends and loved ones. It is also a time to remember the good times and fond memories of those who have passed, telling their stories and feeling close to their spirits/souls. We put out extra food and treats for the wildlife to help them stay warm through the long night as well.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

I'm with avaeads--I love the fact that birds throng my feeders at this time of year. As garden-mermaid says, they're fattening for the cold months ahead. . . hmmm, some similarities with their human counterparts LOL.

Eunice, MO(Zone 5b)

I totally vote for days are going to get longer! I hate the late sunrise and early sunsets of december. Seems there is never enough time to do anything. My spirits lift when the solstice comes, even knowing the worst of winter is still ahead.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Our day today is a full minute longer than it was on the Solstice. Yippee!

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