I have argued through the years that one of the best Christmas presents actually arrives today. The gift from above comes in the form of time - though the weather outside is frightful, today offers about a minute more of sunlight as the days get longer for the next six months. As a dedicated anti-winter zealot, that additional minute of sunlight each day offers hope.
A friend from Arkansas this week sent me one of my former columns from 22 years ago. In that column, I am bemoaning the downside of winter with its cold north winds and dark, dreary days. Well some things don't change. I'm still bemoaning.
I've grown to accept winter since I'm not of the class able to flee to warmer climates during this time of year. But that doesn't mean I don't yearn for longer days and warmer weather. I suspect if given a choice, most of us would opt for spring or summer over winter. But since winter officially began yesterday, we'll have to wait and endure.
It does actually help to know however that each day offers just that one brief minute more of daylight. And for those of us who arrive at work and often leave work in total darkness, a minute is important. That doesn't mean that tomorrow will dawn like a spring morning. But we'll have one more minute than today to enjoy the light.
Social scientists will tell you that all sorts of terrible things occur when we're subjected to darkness and confined to indoors because of weather. The winter demons are in control. But day-by-day they lose that control and the prospects of better weather and longer days starts to improve our world. For those who yearn for the snow and wintry weather, enjoy your time. Soon, though not soon enough, the darkness will give way to light and the northern winds will diminish.
Before you know it, I'll find those dusty golf clubs. For now, they're hidden in the darkness of some cold closet. But somehow they know the days are getting longer too. I can't explain it, but I can feel it.