I have a few hours here before evening ramps up, and another day before we begin to prepare for our annual foodie extravaganza at our house (New Years Eve). What began as a way to make the Holiday activities special, for all of our young children (awhile back), became a special evening for the whole family. Even those who have grown up (most of them) and moved away (some of them) look forward to it and try to be there for it. At some point once the older ones were old enough to eat horseradish root, we began the tradition of digging up a few of the roots from the garden (and this proves difficult when the ground is frozen solid but it makes for very nice horseradish), and creating an extremely delicious version of cocktail sauce to dip our shrimp into. At some point in our travels and years, we also picked up using tubes of wasabi sauce, and we make sushi to put this onto. The food underneath is a mere conveyance. Anyway, this is all miraculously accomplished near winter solstice, when the sun is lowest in the sky at midday (relative to the rest of the year), and the days are very short.
The reason this (northern) hemisphere has these short days during this time (both sides of December 21 or 22), is because the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. Looks rather like this from a distance:(winter on the right)
Now that we have bright electric lights, we can light up our homes easily to extend the day a bit, yet we still feel the lack of natural sunlight, making us tired earlier. We even hate to leave our houses in this dark. (disclaimer: this may be a true fact only on planet Pam).
So I suggest we prioritize our energies (for we still have much to do) and do those needful things, keeping the many extras minimal, especially in the dark evenings. Especially (and this is the key) if it distrupts our family life and peaceful equilibrium. Psalm 39:6 tells us that all of our busy rushing and striving ends in nothing. Ignore ‘keeping up appearances’. Some people don’t even realize that is what they are doing until they are presented with that possibility. The next right thing to do, isn’t necessarily the thing everyone else is doing to appear good. It is that necessary thing that is put in front of you, that is budgeted in. Be careful (and flexible) here; as it becomes easy overdo it and get crabby or too tired to enjoy your family.
And as this short day looks to be winding down (sunlight wanes), so shall I.