If the Mayan Calendar is correct, the world as we know it is going to come to a screeching halt this weekend, either thanks to a gnarly comet or a massive solar storm.
That’s great news for those who’ve put off Christmas shopping until the last minute, but not so welcome information to those of us who’ve been patiently holding our breath until the winter solstice has passed—thereby nudging us incrementally closer to days that don’t more closely resemble nights.
Whether you’re a doomsday aficionado or someone who’s suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you’re going to be in for a very long night come the Winter Solstice—which, this year, happens Fri., Dec. 21.
In the days leading up to the endless evening, there are plenty of ways to distract yourself from the numbing darkness and still have fun. One option is to sign up for the second annual Solstice Run/Walk taking place Thurs., Dec. 20 starting from Klicks Running and Walking in downtown Bellingham. The event celebrates the second-shortest day of the year—organizers say they didn’t think anyone would come on a Friday—and will commence at a leisurely pace from the store. Participants are encouraged to wear festive holiday outfits and, of course, ugly Christmas sweaters (you know you have one). To battle the blues, those who sign up to take part will also be treated to soup, chili, hot cocoa and more after they’ve exerted their temporal human forms. Check out the listing to the right for the particulars, and drag the lighted elf sweater out of your closet.
Speaking from experience, I can tell you that going wassailing (also known as Christmas caroling) is also a surefire way to cure the SAD-faced blues. The recipe is simple: Print off five or 10 Christmas carols, invite a handful of friends to a meeting place, feed them some eggnog and rum, practice the songs for a few minutes, and then head into the night to spread your holiday cheer. Not everybody’s going to answer the door—a horde of unknown people singing “Deck the Halls” at full volume can be intimidating—but those who do will, without a doubt, smile and wish you well. Some may even refill your wassail goblet or throw cookies into the crowd.
If you’re the type who wants to stay close to home while the earth’s axis tilts (or implodes), then these following options might interest you: If you’ve got a pit in the backyard, create your own light via fire and share stories from the past year around the flames. Throw a cocktail party. Play competitive board games until dawn. Make out with your significant other under the Christmas tree for hours. Cook your favorite meal. Sit on your porch and watch for wassailers. Finally, cross your fingers that the world, however dark it might be on this darkest of nights, is not coming to an end.
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