Winter Solstice - December 21, 2010, at 23:38 UTC.
This is the longest night of the year, and, for many followers of the arcane (and therefore Pagan) mythologies, it is the true time of Death and Rebirth, the true New Year, the symbolic end (death) of the old year, and the start (birth) of the new.
As the Wiccans like to chant...
The Holly King cometh!
His end draweth near.
Tonight He will die
At the wane of the year!
Tonight He will fall
At the dark of the Sun.
His season hath ended,
His giving is done!
The Winter Solstice is the origin of numerous traditions, superstitions and rituals that have, over the millenia and landscape, been carried down to become part of modern practices and songs. Many so-called Christmas traditions stem from the ancient traditions of the "older" religions, and were actually consciously included into the new religion so as to coerce as many of the followers of those older religions to join the new one, which, with so many familiar practices, the people found easy to do. Practices such as burning the Yule Log and spreading its ashes, decorating with "boughs of Holly", and kissing under the Mistletoe come directly from the Celtic religion, where they are part of that religion's worship of trees. Holly is one of the holy trees of the Celts, and Mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant that lives on Oak trees - another Celtic holy tree.
And, of course, the very fact that we decorate a "Christmas Tree" directly connects us to the pagan tribes of ancient Europe.
So, Hail to the Oak King! The Oak King Cometh! And, to all my Christian friends, and to everyone else in the World, I wish you all a Happy Yule, and a peaceful and fruitful New Year!
After all - the majority of these ancient traditions are actually fertility rites - and what else would an erotica writer wish for? ;-)