There is much I hate about this time of year. I hate the snow. I hate the wind. I hate that the days are short and the sky is dark long before I leave work. I hate the traffic. Oh how I hate the traffic. And driving in the snow. And how in Utah drivers don’t slow down which causes accidents and makes bad roads extremely dangerous. I hate the cold. I hate that I can run the heat for hours and still feel cold. I hate the consumerism and how Christmas shopping is so important that Thanksgiving has been washed away. I could go on, as there is much I hate about this time of year.
But there is also much that I love about this time of year. I love the holidays. I love the bustle of the season. I love Christmas Trees and Weihnachtspyramides and Nativities and Christmas lights. I love the shopping and the decorating and the thinking of others. I love brewed cocoa and homemade English toffee and peppermint bark.
And I love how my thoughts, and much of the world surrounding me, pivots, however slightly, towards God.
You see, I feel like there is something special about the time between the end of November and the middle or so of April. Yes, the days are dark and cold, they are not necessarily bleak (except perhaps in late January and February… We should fix that!)
I think these dark days are kind of a blessing. It’s like the cliche The darker the night, the brighter the stars. Christmas is a bright spot in the year, but for me I think it would be lost a little bit in the warmth and business of summer. In fact, it is in the summer that I find the distance between me and Deity grows. There is something about this time of year, and perhaps it is in fact the very cold and dark I so dislike, that pulls me and so many others back towards Heaven.
One of the things I love about my LDS faith is that it teaches than anything that is good comes from God (See Moroni 7:16). So regardless of whether you believe in God or not and regardless of your denomination the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year holiday quadrumvirate often causes us to look outside of ourselves and when we look beyond ourselves we look to God.
When we look to God, even when we are not consciously doing it, the world changes, the darkness lifts and the forces of evil are diminished. I think we all can agree that we need more light in our world.