Winter Solstice, Christmas Day, Chanukah

This is an archived issue of our Companion email newsletter.

Daily Newsletter for Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dear Almanac readers, 

Early tomorrow morning brings the winter solstice. Yes, this is referred to as the "shortest day of the year."  Better yet, let's call it the point when the days get "longer," i.e., the amount of daylight starts to increase.

That brings us to Chanukah and Christmas, which begin around the same time this year. Chanukah begins on the 24th at sundown; the date is primarily based on the lunar cycle. Christmas Day is symbolically celebrated on the 25th, as it has been since the 4th century. To all who celebrate, we wish you a Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!

With all good wishes,

Your Almanac Editors

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good
–Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Find out who was born today.



Welcome Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice 2020: The First Day of Winter
The winter solstice is Monday, December 21, 2020. This is the astronomical first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest day of the year. What happens at the winter solstice? Why is the solstice important? Enjoy solstice facts and folklore from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The 2017 Old Farmer's Almanac Engagement Calendar

A daily planner full of humor and useful advice, it’s an indispensable tool for managing your life and keeping you organized.

Christmas Star

The Star of Bethlehem
Was the Star of Bethlehem a real celestial body or a miraculous vision? Astronomer Bob Berman discusses the prevailing theories and adds his own thoughts into the mix.
Readers’ Best Recipes and the Stories Behind Them

Get the recipes that folks rave about! We invited Almanac readers to share their best recipes—the favorites served at family gatherings, potlucks, parties, and supper tables. You’ll love the heartwarming, humorous, and true stories that these cooks tell, too!

When is Chanukah?

Hanukkah 2019
Hanukkah begins on Sunday, December 22, at sundown. Learn about Hanukkah history, customs, and a few traditional recipes!
The 2017 Weather Watcher’s Calendar | Save 50%

For those who like to keep an eye on the sky! Features dramatic photography, weather proverbs, historical weather events, trivia, and more.

Christmas Questions and Answers

Christmas Facts and Trivia
Where did the phrase “Jiminy Christmas” come from? What about “Godspeed”? Why do some people write “Xmas”? The answers may surprise you! Enjoy Christmas facts and trivia to share at the holiday table.
The 2020 Old Farmer's Almanac Moon Calendar

Loaded with dramtic images, lunar lore, and more! Makes a great stocking stuffer!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day 2019
Christmas occurs on a Wednesday this year. Discover why we celebrate Christmas Day on December 25, the symbols of Christmas, and a brief history of Christmas. Plus, let’s bring Christmas alive with recipes, crafts, poetry, and customs from around the world!
The 2017 Old Farmer's Almanac Gardening Calendar

Force spring flowers indoors: Cut forsythia, dogwood, or crabapple branches. Before placing in a vase, mash the cut ends…