Vintersolståndet? Am not sure the right word in English but I will try to explain in my own words, though.
This year’s vintersolståndet (shortest day ) is on the 22nd of December – it means that it’s the SUN (sol) shortest declination i.e. that the sun stands the lowest in the northern horizon or at the northern half of the equator. It dislocates scarcely 6 hours onwards every normal year & 18 hours backwards every leap year- & it falls every 4 years. 2008 is a leap year.
It means that we have one day more on February, that'll be 29th!!!
About 2 weeks later, the earth be laying so close to the sun.
Well, the northern part of the equator can feel this happens whilst in south, we're not keen of this coz we only have 2 seasons.
So , for us whatever may feel across our path? We appreciate it. More naturally and for us? More simple.