The list – a genre concerning the enumeration or compilation of a set of possibly anything – is normally not on the top of my list to think and write about, but right now it is. This time of the year shows a peak in the popularity graph of thinking and writing (about) lists in the Western world (and increasingly worldwide). In random order:
1. We’re reaching the 31st of December, the last date on the worldwide adopted Gregorian calendar. After that date, it starts all over again. Our paper agendas have reached their end, or often may have some more (condensed) space for the months of January and February by popular demand.
2. The winter solstice, midwinter, takes place on the 21st/22th of December. The winter’s cold fronts in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere then have arrived and make life more tough for plants and warmblooded animals like us. We’ll have to bitterly wait for spring to come and/or enjoy our current – to various degrees – inevitable experience of the cold (the heat-less).
The winter solstice, together with the ending calendar, makes us collectively feel contemplative and think back about the past annual period between January and December.
We ask ourselves about our personal growth/personal decline:
What did I (not) harvest this year?
Which events defined my year the most/least?
It’s also a moment we think about other people: there are several cozy December observances near winter solstice. Christmas is for example increasingly chosen to serve as a moment of peace, e.g. Christmas truce (in the year 1914, out of which grew United Nation’s International Day of Peace on the 21st of September) or Christmas charity events. In the arts, December songs are melancholic and/or full of engagement, December films are released and deal with family and/or love themes in wintry landscapes (see the IMDB keyword Christmas).
I’d suggest to generally:
1. be contemplative about yourself, other people and life
2. write down your thoughts and/or remember them
3. consult and write (non-)enumerated lists or any other genre
4. do all of the above more often and randomly