Christmas lights seem to be displayed earlier and earlier every year, and this year was no exception. Some people had their houses lit up since the beginning of December, and shops and commercial enterprises got serious about Christmas displays shortly after Halloween. There is no doubt that they brighten up dark midwinter evenings, but after experiencing them for a month or six weeks we become so accustomed to them that we barely notice them. By the beginning of next week they will have disappeared into storerooms and attics for another eleven to twelve months. The month of January can be a lean and dark month in the northern hemisphere as people readjust themselves to entering a new year and to dealing with new challenges. The one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve grown older is that the space between one December and the next seems to have contracted considerably.