Solstice means "standing still Sun", which is an appropriate earthly descriptor for the longest (Summer) and shortest (Winter) days of the year.
In ancient Egypt the solstices were marked by the rise of the constellations Cancer (Summer) and Capricorn (winter). Both of these constellations consist of remarkably dim stars, which made them standout in the sky. The Egyptians deemed them as seasonal doorways. Cancer was the doorway for souls to be reborn into the earthly realm. Capricorn was the doorway for souls to leave the earthly realm and travel to the underworld.
Funnily enough, most cultures in the Northern hemisphere also believed the time of year when Capricorn rose as a period to honor the dead, and also propitiate the other more-than-human beings and spirits that could more freely wander the world due to the diminished sunlight.
Today, due to precession, these constellations no longer rise during the solstices--but the Sun remains, "standing still" on the solstices. We can look to other myths that inform us of seasonal patterns related to the solstices and equinoxes.
Robert Graves pointed out in The White Goddess that a common motif of Northern European traditions showed a seasonal battle between a Holly King and Oak King (as signified by various gods). The Holly King reigns over the dark part of the year, starting from the Summer Solstice as our days grow shorter from that point onward. The Oak King reigns the bright part of the year, starting from the Winter Solstice as our days grow longer from that point forward.
Some believe similarly that the Cailleach reigns over the cold half of the year from Samhain to Imbolc, while Brigid reigns over the warmer half of the year from Imbolc to Samhain. (Ireland's traditional calendars were a combination of the pastoral herding migration schedule as well as celestial events measured by standing stones and various cairns that align with certain stars and the solar events of solstices and equinoxes.)
Take some time to stare into a flame and thank the Sun for giving us heat, the Earth for being our home and providence, your ancestors for giving you a path to this present moment. Even a candle will do!