Think the holidays are over? Wish they were? No no no! Sunday is another important milestone! The most important holiday in the entire Tom Toles calendar! Can’t wait to hear? Well that only means you are not a full-time student of the Tom Toles Blog and I will try not to take that too personally. I know you are busy and the web is full of many other fine distractions.

Were you a true devotee, however, you would know that Sunday marks the official end of TunnelTime, the solemn period of mourning and hunched shuffling that occurs during the shortest days of the year. It runs from November 15th through January 8th. Who determined those dates? You really DON’T pay attention. This is my my MY Festivelessal of Darkness, although I intend, through the Power of the Internet, to broadcast and institutionalize my particular pathology in the larger world which shows no signs of being able to resist additional reasons to commemorate nothing much at all. If I can only figure out a marketing angle, that is.

The explanation of January 8th? This is just about the time that most winter-haters are only BEGINNING to tire of the shivering and succumb to cabin fever. But no, they have this all wrong. Because on January 8th, or the first sunny day thereafter, look up. The sun is NOTICEABLY HIGHER IN THE SKY. It’s not just daylength that factors in here, although it is somewhere around the 8th that the sunrise starts getting earlier. No, ANGLE is EVERYTHING, if you know what I mean, and straight up-and-down sun rays are the kind we like, not those weird sideways winter ones. Late winter sunshine is bright and frolicky, no matter the temperature! So keep an eye peeled skyward, join me in celebrating STRONGER sunlight on Sunday, and mark November 15th on those shiny new calendars as TunnelTime, and this is how massive traditions begin.