Add Winter Solstice celebrations to your holiday entertaining - and you'll be experiencing a fun-filled, relaxed and stress-free party.
Here, you'll be celebrating the longest night of the year...
...December 21 or 22.
From then onwards, the days will then grow longer, the nights shorter, up 'til June 21 - the Summer Solstice.
Bonfires, dancing to light (like this woman is doing) and wild feasts also offer a down-to-earth alternative to the commercialism of Christmas.
Let's get you started.
Best Time to Celebrate? — This is up to you.
Celebrate Indoors or Outdoors?
This is the part about the bonfire.
Since Nature and sunlight are key parts of Winter Solstice rituals, decide early on if you'll have one.
You'll need to think about location, fire safety and where to buy wood for burning.
Since the Winter Solstice is all about the sun, light up your party with these simple invitations.
Cards with Candle Photos
Handmade Sun-shaped Cards
Solstice Party Details — Include party time, date, location and contact info. Friends got special dietary needs (like dairy allergy)? Let them know to ring you.
Lighting plays an important part in Solstice decorations, as it evokes the "return of the sun" idea.
Candles are the easiest way of doing this.
Hang up twinkling fairy lights around your door and window frames.
Create wreaths using natural materials from nearby woods or a flower shop.
Display a large homemade image of the sun on your main wall.
In a way, a Winter Solstice party takes a "back to basics" approach to its fun - relying just on you and the fun you'll create on the spot, with whatever is to hand.
So, to get involved, lock away your iPads, Wii's and smartphones.
Group Reflection by Candlelight
This is one of the central Winter Solstice rituals.
A Sunny Singalong
Break out the guitar for to tunes that celebrate the light - like 'Here Comes the Sun' or 'You Are My Sunshine'.
Write a Play Together
And perform it. Have a trunk of spare clothes at the ready, for costumes.
Throw a Trivia Night
Test what you know about the longest night of the year, with a Winter Solstice symbols quiz.
Or mix up these questions with other trivia games on Partycurrent.
Hold a Storytelling Session
Get everyone on the circle for a round of Winter storytelling. The types of stories you choose to tell can vary. Try:
Play Pictionary, Chess or Scrabble
We're going for a "back to Nature" feel with the food.
Lots of roasting, stewing and baking here. Scatter your tables with walnuts, chestnuts, berries and oranges.
The sun theme still rules. To get everyone feeling hot, add spices, even chilli. Here are a few menu ideas:
For drinks, Schnapps, mulled wine, whiskey and hot toddies rule the tastebuds.
Add hot cocoa and tea of all types.
Send guests back to the light with nature-themed party favors.