I used to think of this end of the year as a steep, narrow crevasse. You hit rock bottom on the shortest day, 23rd December. Then started to climb out of the dark.
I now realise that time, like everything else, is more complicated than you think. Yesterday the evening got dark one minute later. But this morning it still got light later than yesterday.
So for about three weeks, the mornings carry on getting darker while the nights lighten up. Call it the turning circle on the Sea of Time.