December sky

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Ahhhh. . . December is here. Living in California, I’ve come to realize that December was not my favorite time of year growing up. Boston is cold and snowy, and much of my free time was spent with my family shoveling snow! I managed to master getting out of it most of the time by offering to make hot chocolate for everyone. I think my parents caught on pretty quick, but they never said anything to me. I think I was more helpful inside than out.

December brings shorter days and longer nights. The sunset in my backyard faithfully submits to the Winter Solstice. The sun will reverse its southerly motion and start to head northward for the next six months, thus, bringing us shorter days and longer nights. This “turnaround” point is referred to by astronomers as the winter solstice, and the sun’s passage through this key point in the sky on Dec. 21 marks the astronomical beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.

Despite the Boston weather, December conjures up wonderful childhood memories. Birthday celebrations with my twin meant lots of gifts December 11th, and then 2 weeks later Christmas gifts. My sister and I sang in a few choirs in high school, at church, and with the Boston Conservatory of Music Children’s choir, so we performed in many holiday concerts. And of course time spent with family. I had the privilege of spending every Christmas season with my great grandmother.

Living in California takes some getting used to in the month of December. How could it be a “real” winter without snow? Well, we make due. White christmas lights look fantastic on palm trees, and it rarely gets below 35 degrees here so we settle for rain instead of snow in our winter months. It beats shoveling snow!

Join me this month as I write about the happenings of the season, and post some fabulous holiday recipes.

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