: this is it, the shortest day of the year :

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Today, December 21st, is the stoopid winter solstice. At precisely 6:03 p.m. EST winter officially arrives. This isn’t a day to celebrate, my friends; it’s short and cold and dark. Daytime’s been canceled, at least temporarily. The sun will come up, boing, then go right back down, plop.

That might explain why today is National Flashlight Day. You’ll need one.

Shadows and murk abound, you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Our world  is rendered in varying shades of gray — leaden gray skies, stark black trees, dingy clouds, dirty snow, wan, gray faces. And the sun is no help, we’re as far away from there as we can get. Its light and warmth are but a distant, fading memory.

My point here, which I’m getting to, is to bring cheer and a hearty exhortation: buck up. From this moment on, the days will grow longer, little by little by little. Come March, and the arrival of the vernal equinox, we’ll be adding a couple minutes of glorious sunshine to every passing day. We’ll add degrees to the thermometer and, tada, all will be right with the world. Until then, snuggle in, nap often, and drink plenty of warm fluids — hot toddies are recommended.

Add a paper umbrella and pretend it’s a beach cocktail.

cocktail umbrella

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