Dixie Peach: When Day is Like Night

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

When Day is Like Night

After we roll back the clocks to standard time Germany hits dark thirty well before anything I experienced in the United States. In early November it's getting dark by 4:45pm and by 5:30pm we've hit pitch. Come December it gets worse and come shortly after 4pm we've got complete dark. It was December when I first moved to Germany and if my homesickness depression wasn't enough to do me in, on top of it was the absolute funk I was put in at having to turn on lamps when mid-afternoon rolled around. Add to that the fact that in November and December Germany isn't famous for its sunny, clear blue skies during the short daylight hours and it's no wonder that late fall/early winter in Germany feels like a siege.

But December has something November can't boast - Christmas lights. A day in November goes like this: dark followed by overcast followed by dark. December is dark followed by overcast followed by faint dots of lights followed by dark followed by a bright, sparkly, cheerful, Chrismassy world. By the time mid-December arrives you're so grateful to see something else besides the absence of light that you welcome any array of lighted Christmas tackiness.

Who knew that neon Santas, glowing Holy Families, sparkling reindeer and row after row of plastic candle pyramids could be a cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder?


Blogger Hilda said...

A friend of mine from Finland who was raised mostly throughout Africa and now lives in Miami will not go live in Finland where the social programs and education are fabulous and where her entire family lives (here she she lives alone with her two daughters with no family whatsoever) because of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

She says it makes her so depressed she has trouble getting out of bed. I can only imagine how bad that is, here in Miami when we go through three or four days of rain and the sun doesn't come out, I get cranky and lethargic.

12:30 AM  
Blogger sari said...

I'm with you on the dark, but the Christmas lights sound very nice to me!!

I'm all for that stuff. I pulled out my Charlie Brown Christmas cd by Vince Geraldi today because I was just itching for that "O Tanenbaum". I couldn't wait until the day after Thanksgiving (but I did turn it off after that first song).

3:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I live in Southern California and I agree with Hilda. There's no way I could go through a whole winter with little sun.

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Belinda said...

gah don't get me started! I lived in Michigan during my college days and winters are pretty rough there. However, I NEVER got winter depression till I came to Germany. I am looking out my window now and it's supposedly the "Day" but I think it's just variable shades of dark grey.

I seriously just want to stay in bed.

Wake me when it's Spring Kim!!!

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its pitch black here by 5:30 in the midwest. Sucks big time. Makes it hard to motivate to get out of the house...

For some reason I'm itchin' for Christmas decorations too. Maybe I'll start early this year...

9:07 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Germany and Seattle are SOOOOO similar in that regard!!! We're definitely heading into the SAD season!


9:16 AM  
Blogger melusina said...

I love the long dark nights, I've always been a night person. But I also love the long days too.

My solution though, is to keep Christmas lights up all year round. I love it when the time changes in the fall and I can start plugging them in at 5pm. Some people say that keeps them from being special, but it really doesn't. My husband calls them my happy lights. They really are!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Don't foget the Christkindl Markt! I can hardly wait to go back to Germany to see that, again and again (come December 4th). You're close enough to your city center to go see that every day, right?

8:36 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Now I'm definitely a night person - I seldom go to bed before 3am - but I still need some daylight.

I'm definitely looking forward to the Christmas market - it opens on the 24th. And since it's 200 meters away I can trot down there every day if I please!

10:33 PM  

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