Today/ tonight is the winter solstice. The shortest day of the year and the longest night. From now on the nights get shorter slowly, slowly until the summer solstice. We must have faith, through the long dark night, that we will see the sun rise between the stones tomorrow.
I prefer celebrating the solstice rather than Christmas. Nowadays, Christmas seems more like a time to buy a glut of gifts and spend money one doesn't have all to put on a show. For some, it may be a memory of the birth of Christ,of course and that is good. For others it means mainly Santa Claus. Commercialism. Or perhaps a meld of the two.
Many of the things we associate with Christmas were originally solstice (pagan) symbols such as the tree, the holly and the ivy, drinking glog and ale, joining together by the fire to pray that the sun (son) would come again, singing songs with friends. And so forth. The date of Dec 25th for celebration of Christ's birth was chosen, by Rome so I have read, because it was near the pagan celebration of solstice and would be an easy segue into Christmas.
This is all sort of the "gist" of it and not necessarily directly out of the encyclopedia.
In any event, happy solstice to all and to all a good long sleep filled with peace night.
And happy Yalda to my Iranian friends. Yalda, as human being has noted in a comment, is the Iranian solstice celebration.