Winter Light

Everywhere I look, there are countdowns. The truly sad Absolute Radio DJ who was counting down the days 'til summer back in October. The Facebook fan page counting down the days until the Doctor Who Christmas special. The advent calendars. The 'only X shopping days until Christmas' signs. The statuses declaring X is 'ready for the weekend'. 
Stop. Whoah. Slow down. 
I'm tired of countdowns. Of people desperate to get from one moment to the next, bored of the now and always anticipating what comes next. Whatever happened to carpe diem? There's no time like the present, but there's also no time like the present for wishing it away, it would seem. 
It's apparently Christmas in 19 days. I am one of those people who experiences the post-Christmas crash like you wouldn't believe. I think it's because I'm a winter baby, and subsequently am naturally inclined to being a fan of when it's cold outside. Nothing says happiness to me like sitting infront of a roaring fire with a good book, a walk along dark cobbled streets dimly lit by streetlights, listening to carols, or the sight of snow. I'm listening to carols while writing this. Working in a shop on the weekends when I'd otherwise be wandering the city while humming O Come O Come Emmanuel to myself is rather crushing the festive spirit out of me. Nothing says Christmas quite like the ringing of tills, I'm told. 
People are wishing away the festive season to get to Christmas Day: the gifts, the turkey (I hate turkey), the sales, the anticipation of spring, and then summer. I'm clinging to every last faltering note of every carol, to every frost. Am I any worse than the people who are wishing it was warmer? No. I'll love summer when it arrives, but for now I'm hoping that these short days of winter seem longer, I'll cherish every grey, foggy morning for the sparkling, subtle beauty of the mist and frost, and the shafts of strong sunlight that cut through, and that these 19 days left until Christmas are filled with as much festivity as I can fill them with, until I'm home with my family.
I'm sad mainly because this is the first Christmas in a long time that I won't have a choir to sing carols with. Last year's festive season, thanks to the school I was working at, was filled with choir rehearsals and the singing of carols. Like this one. This Christmas will be cheesy Christmas hits, numerous Christmas presents sold to tourists, drinking mulled wine at forced festive consumer-hot-spot markets and seeing numerous friends. It won't be the same. No year will ever be the same again. And while I count that as a blessing that my life is now taking on some variety, the ghosts of Christmases past are making me a tad mournful. 
Image via Garbage Dress - the autumnal colours and burning wintry light set the scene on fire with beauty. And for a little more wintry beauty, have a carol 

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