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Today is the shortest day of the year. It is the time of the year when darkness seems to close in around us. Its hard to feel motivated to do anything when the rain is pouring outside and the sun fades in the afternoon. The cold drives us into the cramped indoor where we finally realize that summer is dead. We are tilted far from the sun and everything feels cold.

It is no surprise that holidays were created to bring some hope into the darkest part. I find myself increasingly drawn to festivals of light like Christmas and Hanukkah. I didn’t always get into the holiday spirit when I was living in Arizona, but I see their value now that I live farther north. It is this time of year when the world seems the most hopeless.

I need to be reminded that the darkness will lift; it won’t surround me forever. I need to be reminded that there is light and hope in dark times — light will always win out in the end. So, as I decorate this tree and take in the festive lights of the city, I am thankful for the celebration. And I look forward to the days that will follow today. We have reached the deepest day of winter. From now on, we are marching toward spring.

— 30 —

Jonny Eberle is a writer in Tacoma, WA. He is surviving the plunge into the longest night of the year with the help of writing and Twitter.

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