A Countdown To The Longest Night

Doris at zoo lights

Staff Highlight / December 16th, 2021

This December, we’ve been thinking about the coming Winter Solstice, also known as The Longest Night. Celebrated in cultures around the globe for thousands of years, Winter Solstice arrives in Winnipeg on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 9:59 a.m.  

As the days get shorter and shorter until then, we’re bundling up. 

What does it mean to bundle up? As an Indigenous design firm, it might bring to mind a medicine bundle, also called sacred bundles, that are wrapped collections of spiritually significant items. Our design for Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc., or KIM, featured medicine bags in different styles to represent the identities of Indigenous communities. 

We’re all part of a community, through our networks at work, our neighbourhoods, and our bonds with friends and family. December is a time of celebration and get-togethers. But when we look to nature, we see it is also a time of rest for things that grow and the animals who hibernate or conserve their energy in the cold. 

We can also use this time to replenish our spirits. To rest, to dream, to reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the new. 

It’s our good medicine for The Longest Night. We’ve been sharing the way our team members make the most of the season on our social media throughout December, and have compiled everyone’s here.

Thank you for following along with us, and may the new year bring you happiness and good health.

To get through the long winter I like staying in and watching movies – either new ones or rewatching my favourites, and staying warm with my cats. A small tradition is watching Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve or in the few days before Christmas.

— Jon Denby, Graphic Designer

My good medicine is baking. I love to share what I make with family and friends. One of my favourite events in December is hosting my book club to decorate cookies together. 

— Claudine Gervais, Copywriter

My good medicine in the winter season is having a huge celebratory bonfire. Sometimes it’s on New Years sometimes it’s on Christmas but regardless we all gather together around the biggest bonfire of the year to laugh and share and watch the stars.

— Kali MacDonald, Senior Designer

When I lived in Brandon our family worked the Westman Traditional Christmas Dinner. It is a dinner made, served, and delivered by volunteers to provide hot meals to those that may not have them during the holiday. Since moving to Winnipeg I haven’t been able to do this as much, butI hope we can get back to it when it’s safe.

— Zack Ogilvie, Programmer

My mom has always put out stockings for my brother and me. When we were younger, they were filled with toys, and now that we’re older they’re filled with booze and toiletries.

— Will Palahnuk, Lead Programmer

My winter tradition in Northern Manitoba is driving around my small home town with my family and enjoying the neighborhood lights, scenery, hot cocoa and great company.

— Doris Quill, Office Administrator

My favourite ways to get through the winter season include: holiday decorating, bubble baths, cups of tea, sledding with the kids, celebrating the holidays with friends and family, board games, good movies and cuddling under the covers.

— Katie Robinson, Content Manager

Bundle Up: 1. Gathering or tying something together in a tight package 2. Wrapping someone snugly in warm clothes or blankets.

Nothing is better than an outdoor fire when it’s cold, the air is calm and there’s a gentle snowfall.

— Chris Redekop, Accounts Manager

My good medicine, the way I survive is to be flexible, to be open and accepting of the ironic persistence of change. Focus on the people I’m thankful for and appreciate the time I have with them.

— Dean Selinger, Programmer

Every Christmas Eve all my siblings and I go to my parents’ place out in the country and we make our own homemade stuffed-crust pizza. After pizza we all play games and watch movies while continuing to snack on various treats, including fruit fondue and all kinds of homemade goodies (despite all of us being way too full from all the pizza we just ate). After the fun is finally over we all go to sleep and in the morning we exchange gifts with the kids.

— Josh Teichroeb, Programmer

What’s tradition when the holidays meet an unprecedented global pandemic? Christmas is always a big deal in my extended family where we gather the evening before, have a feast, and stay up all night to open presents when the clock strikes midnight. Last year, this wasn’t possible because of the pandemic but my cousins found a way to keep connected and enjoy each other’s company anyway (by accusing each other of murder, of course).

— Arielle Villarin, Graphic Designer

My medicine is all forms of sage. I smudge with it and use it in my tourtière. I have so many memories of my mom making dozens of meat pies to last through December to January. There was always the scent of one in the oven or the aroma of the unbaked ones hitting you in the face when you opened the fridge. I continue this cooking tradition to this day. We always have a fire on Winter Solstice to welcome the lengthening days and the hope they bring.

— Shaun Vincent, Founder and Creative Director

My favourite old tradition is decorating the house for the holidays. Every year, I add another ornament, light or nutcracker to my collection. This year I’ll be sharing that tradition with my son, Luc. As he grows older, I’m hoping to embrace new traditions or activities as a family.

— Jennifer Young, Senior Designer