I went to a solstice party last night. It was a small but nice gathering, several friends enjoying warmth and light and companionship on the longest night of the year.
I also got to meet the hostess's baby, who is adorable. She has a bouncy seat that looks like a lot of fun; I wish they made those in big kids' sizes. Although I'm not sure it would fit in a standard-size doorway, not with the kind of bouncing I'd want to do. (Note: baby in picture is just an overpaid model, not the baby I saw last night.)
At one point a few of the girls went outside to leave a solstice offering. I asked dubiously if the gods would come and take the offering, and was told that they would come in the form of birds, squirrels, and opossums. Then I saw that the offering consisted of flowers and fruit, so that made more sense.
The rest of us decided it was too darn cold outside, and one girl said the goddess could come inside if she wanted to see us. I contributed a grape to the offering plate saying later, "At least I did my part for the gods. Or goddess. Goddesses? Are there more than one? Do they all need grapes?"
We amused the men, keeping them away from the offering by working on stupid human tricks. It turns out that men cannot kneel and touch their noses to the floor without falling over. It's pretty easy for most women though. Something to do with different centers of gravity, I think. Maybe that was our offering to the goddess: we embarrassed the menfolk.
So yeah I didn't fully understand the solstice celebration, and I didn't ask enough questions, but I still enjoyed spending the night with friends.