December 19, 2016

Celebrating Sunlight

In Alaska, especially central and northern Alaska where we are, we get as close to lovers of the sun as any place I have lived.  In the summer we have week long festivals celebrating the fact that our sun never sets and that daylight fills our days and nights.  This time of year we are on the flip side.  We have so very LITTLE sun but we love to celebrate Solstice when the 6 month sun decline turned around and our days start getting longer. 
I have often mentioned that we don't have fireworks for the 4th of July.  It isn't dark and there is always a forest fire hazard related.  Instead our borough pulls out all the stops to celebrate our winter solstice.  Since this occurs on Wednesday this year we celebrated over the weekend with the festivities.   No fireworks in July for us but lots in December.  
This year was actually the best I have seen.  Not only was the display full and long but the weather was perfect.  You see over the weekend the lower 48 suffered from the cold snap we have been dealing with for awhile and we got a breath of warm air.  We peaked out at 8 degrees over the weekend and as a result of warming up so much (-20's and -30's a week ago), we got a ton of snow.  Well, a ton of snow for Fairbanks but still.  How fun that it was about 5 degrees for the fireworks and thus the kids weren't cold.  We had them bundled, they played in the snow, we laughed at the fireworks and we all sang Jingle Bells all the way back to the car.

-20's does provide a crisper picture of the fireworks but this night was perfect for us.  As we shook the snow off our coats and loaded back up for the drive home I mentioned to Josh Christmas gets better and better as the kids get older.  Abigail knows the songs, the kids get excited about the traditions, they are becoming participants instead of just spectators and it is so wonderful to see.  6, 4, and 2.  These are great years for the holidays for sure.

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