Happy Winter Solstice!!
There seems to be a bit of misapprehension by some of the posters here about what the Winter Solstice is. What it is not is just a pagan, or any other spirituality's, ceremony or practice. It is a moment in celestial time when the northern hemisphere of Earth is tilted the farthest away from the Sun that it will ever be in the course of the year. What this means is that in the northern half of Earth, the days are shorter and the nights longer than any other day of the year. (Of course the southern half of Earth would be just the opposite with longest day and shortest night.)
The reason this day, Winter Solstice, has always been Celebrated as one of the most important days of the entire year (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox being the other vitally important days) is that it marks Mid Winter and the return of Sun. Farmers and Hunter-Gatherers need to be able to fix time of season so they knew when to plant, when the fish would "run", when the animals go into or out of hibernation, when animals would mate and when give birth, when green plants would start to emerge, when they would die off, when the cold would return. The marking and Celebrating of these celestial events enabled us humans to plan for the future, and greatly enhanced our ability to simply survive. Simply put, without the ability to know what's next, we are much more likely to die.
So Happy Winter Solstice!! Today we mark Mid-Winter. Today we know the next 3 months of the turning of Moon will bring a time to rest and heal and prepare. Today we know that with each new day to come for the next half year, Sun will share more of its life giving Warmth and Light. Today we know, that in 3 Moons, Earth will turn green again. Today is a day of such importance to all Human People, and a day of such importance to People who want to live in co-operation with Earth and all the Other People's of Earth. Happy Winter Solstice indeed.