But all of this is actually a wonderful backdrop for the best part of Winter...the lights and colors and sounds and smells of all our Winter celebrations. Think about it. Thanksgiving, Christmas (or whatever mid-Winter celebration your faith, ethnic or national heritage observes), New Year's Eve, Super Bowl Sunday (yes, Virginia, it really has become almost a legal holiday in the US), and Valentine's Day. All of these provide outlets for us to get together with family and friends, eat good food, light candles or string lights, decorate ourselves and everything around us, sing and dance and play music, give and receive gifts, and finally...to reconnect with something outside ourselves that makes life worth living.
So, on New Year's Day, as I contemplate beginning to divest our home of Christmas decorations and attending to the business of "getting our house in order" for the coming year...the little girl in me is watching the skies for that first snowflake or a patch of of crispy cold night sky full of incredible diamond-sharp stars...and thanking God for down comforters, hot chocolate, crackling logs in the fireplace, and snuggling in for the season.