The Winter Solstice

One of my personality quirks is that I tend to be drawn towards the future. I have to discipline myself to “stay in the moment” daily, because my nature pulls me forward almost constantly. I’ve often thought that this was why I was such a good Assignment Manager.

Of course, the downside fruit of such a gift is anxiety, and I’ve fought that monster all my life. I’ve learned the hard way that life is a day-by-day thing, and a personal crisis eight years ago led me to a place where I could finally find comfort just being me. My faith has dissolved the anxiety problem, but the future drift remains. It’s an interesting place to be.

I give you all that background to explain why today is such an important day to me (and, I suppose, others like me). To me, the first day of Winter isn’t about snow and cold and gloom. Like the ancients, I view the Winter Solstice as the rebirth of the sun — the day when our star begins its journey back northward and bringing with it new life. To me, this is a day of supreme joy and celebration. As I tell my family, it’s all downhill from here.

For the same reason, I feel a twinge of sadness on the Summer Solstice. Odd, eh?

We’ve heard a ton of arguments this holiday season about whether a Christmas tree should be called a Christmas tree or whether we should just call it a “holiday tree” to encompass all of the winter festivals of various religions. This is an easy question for me. I am a Christian, so it’s a Christmas tree. But my understanding of God has changed dramatically over the years, and I don’t think He gives a crap what we call the thing. Christianity glommed itself onto the pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice in the fourth century, finding commonality between the rebirth of the sun and the birth of the Son. That’s fine with me, and I think we’re all being just a bit too pedantic by insisting that the holiday be one way or the other.

I hope you’ll take a moment today to think about our sun and welcome her on the journey back to our hemisphere. Winter isn’t the beginning of darkness; it’s the renewal of light.


  1. “…I don’t think He gives a crap what we call the thing”
    Perhaps “Pedants R Us” should be the new slogan for those of our brethren & sistern who major on the minors.
    Much affection through this Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday season and always,

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