Tuesday, December 24
The last-quarter Moon shines near Mars after they rise late tonight and into the Christmas-morning dawn.
Wednesday, December 25
A Christmas deco star. At this time every year Sirius rises in the east-southeast down below Orion around 7 or 8 p.m. depending on your location. When Sirius is still low, binoculars often show it twinkling in vivid colors. All stars do this when low, but Sirius is the brightest, making the effect more pronounced. Merry Sol Invictus!
In late Roman times when the solstice fell on December 25th, this date was celebrated as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun — when the Sun began to reverse its long decline with the hopeful promise, in the cold and the dark, of a new spring and summer to come.