In the upper Midwest where I live now, the longest night of the year is about 15 hours. Living here, I find I'm far more grateful for the winter solstice. It marks the end of the lengthening night, and the beginning of lengthening daylight.
There's a Swedish carol that celebrates candles, light, and warmth. How appropriate that it comes from a country in the far north part of the globe, where candles would be especially important.
Note: This video is from the late 1970s, when Evie was a big thing in Christian music. It retains all the charm of the era. (Plus, subtitles in... Dutch? Swedish? Someone help me out here...)
A Thousand Candles
Swedish carol, tr. Evie Tornquist Karlsson, tr. © 1977 Word Music
We light a thousand candles bright
around the earth today,
and all the beams will shine across
the heavens' grand display.
Yes over land and sea tonight
the joyful message brings
the birth of Him, our Lord and Christ,
our Savior and our King.
Dear brightest star o'er Bethlehem,
oh let your precious light
shine in with hope and peace toward men
in every home tonight.
In all our houses cold and dark
please send your warmth sublime,
the warmth that comes from Jesus' love
this blessed Christmas time.