For as long as human beings have had the slightest degree of self awareness they have observed the Winter solstice with one form of divine rite or another. Is there any form of that observance that is not characterized by hope?
The sun has been moving away and the days have been getting shorter and colder. After the solstice, the sun will begin moving closer, the days will be getting longer, but experience would have informed that the immediate days are going to get colder still. Often, a lot colder. Ever met anyone's lover named February? There's a reason for that. (Begs the question of why we would put Valentine's Day in the coldest month of the year, but that's another blog). But experience also informs that after the weather gets even worse Spring will come, and there will be a rebirth. Hope. Always hope. Hope is central to being human. And hope is why we go through these rituals every year.
Peace on Earth.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.