You did you know that today is the original Christmas Day didn't you? Well, one of many.
The truth is no one knows when Christ was born (or even 'if' as that's a matter of faith, of course). But it probably wasn't the bleak mid-winter. For a start no self-respecting shepherd is likely to be out on a hillside in the depths of December.
But when the Romans finally stopped persecuting Christians and the empire became Christian itself in 313AD there was a ready-made winter festival and the emperor Constantine thought it'd be a shame to scrap it so he had Christmas moved to December to celebrate the rebirth of the sun on or around the solstice. Which is today, of course.
It isn't always. It can occur on the 22nd December and it will next year. But for now, today marks the day when the sun is at its lowest and the day at its darkest.
So the sixth of our #Notthe9Lessons carols has to be a pagan one. Luckily there are plenty to choose from.
And for the reading, a poem of hope when all around is dark. Because the sun will be reborn and frost and snow struck dead again.