December is the darkest month of the year, when nights stretch to their longest, outpacing the daylight here in the Northern Hemisphere – yet, the very longest night, the Winter Solstice on the 21st, is also when the cycle shifts and the sun begins to reassert itself.
Helping the light along are the holidays of this season - Hanukkah, the festival of lights, and Christmas and the kindling flame of hope it brings to the faithful. It can’t be by accident that this long, dark night of a month is when we gather with those we love to share joy, merriment, and gifts – or that it so often leaves us feeling exhausted.
I always sally forth into dark December buoyed by high hopes; hopes of reconnecting with old friends, of sharing laughter and fun with family, and of finishing the year with a sense of accomplishment rather than regret. And there have been some years in which I actually achieved all of that – but other Decembers have seen me miss the...