Scientists tell us that we crossed a line last night. At approximately 6:03 PM Eastern Standard Time, the Northern Hemisphere entered that astronomical moment known as the Winter Solstice. For the next six months, the days will gradually be getting longer, and the nights, shorter.
It just so happens that this annual nadir of daylight falls a few days before the most orgiastic public celebration of darkness on the present Western calendar. Unlike Thanksgiving, where one simply eats and drinks to excess, we not only engage in the same gastrological excesses at Christmas, but combine them with an excess of consumption of all kinds. In doing so, we allow the twinkling tree lights and flashing advertisements to deceive us into thinking that we are living surrounded by light, rather than in darkness.
Now, I enjoy gift-giving, good things to eat and drink, and parties just as much as any sensible…
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