Regardless of the calendar, for me it is officially winter in Southern California. I know this because of the lights. You see, I like to think of the lights, which are so prolific in my hometown, as our visible replacement of the changing seasons. It is our snow; our own kind of frosting.
Contrarily, the lights make the outside darker, the air seem colder, the shadows deeper. There is also a hush about the air, a calm stillness from the lack of air conditioners running, making the nights a silent time of reflection.
So while gazing out my kitchen window to admire my neighbors snow, I can not help but marvel at the faithfulness of the God of all creation, who meets us wherever we are, and uses whatever is available, to remind busy people like me, that this is the season to celebrate, the Light of the world, peace on earth, and good will towards men.