Years ago, I taught a sweet and clever young boy in Primary.
He is the son to one of my friends, and I knew/know him very well.
It was about this time of year that I was teaching them and asked the children, “Who can tell me what we celebrate this time of year?”
They looked like they were thinking. It can’t be too hard, it’s just a week or two before Christmas which is like almost all children’s favorite time of year.
I waited, and waited.
Then Parker raised his hand, and said, “Well, you could celebrate the Winter Solstice!“
Wow! That was a surprise!
“I guess you could,” I said. I couldn’t believe such a little guy could have even heard of the Winter Solstice. I told him I was actually talking about Christmas, and all the kids got big smiles on their faces, and we continued to talk about Christmas.
I went home from church and did an internet search of the Winter Solstice. It was very interesting. It is a pagan holiday, so I didn’t really want focus too much on that, but I found out that it is the shortest day of the year. After the Winter Solstice the days will get longer, and eventually the days will be brighter, as we leave winter behind.
I thought of the symbolism that we could think of, if we chose to. I like to think of our Savior as a light. He is the light of the world. At this particular time in the history of our world many are very far away from the Son. There is so much darkness. It makes me sad. But, I choose to focus on the fact that this darkness cannot last. It will get brighter. The Son will be close and will bless our lives with light, someday He will bless our lives with light forever. I consider the Winter Solstice a day to remember the Son, and how His light blesses us and how much I want it in my life.
So every year since that day in primary, I call Parker to wish him a Happy Winter Solstice.
We had Parker’s family over for dinner last week to celebrate the Winter Solstice, and talk about light, and how important it is to us. Parker knows he said that comment about the Winter Solstice, only because I remind him. He doesn’t remember saying it. Cute.
I am grateful that my little friend Parker, who is now 14 years old, blessed me years ago with a new way of thinking about the cold, dark and short winter days.
Hang in there! The light is coming! The days are getting longer!