New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day

30 Dec

I have very mixed feelings about New Year’s Eve-Day.

On the one hand, I love someone giving legitimacy to my desire to stay up late. I love the fact that we can all look at things we want to improve and have a socially acceptable time where we state that we are significantly flawed and need to fix it. I think it’s cool that any holiday would push me to kiss my wife at midnight. I like the fact that we can get so excited about countdowns and balls dropping and many other otherwise silly things. I like that we have a built in mechanism for becoming nostalgic.

On the other hand, I feel like we are celebrating the mundane. We are actually celebrating time marching on with a random assignment of when the new year begins (it doesn’t coincide with any season or anything). We are celebrating at a time randomly chosen (who determined that a new day begins at midnight anyway). It also seems to be a holiday celebrated with people, place, and activities randomly chosen (if anyone has a longstanding tradition for New Year’s, please let us know in the comments).

Now, I only have two hands and when they lead me different ways, I am conflicted. In the last ten years, I’ve celebrated New Year’s by myself watching a movie and not recognizing the precise moment, delivering pizza, going to a party with friends, watching a countdown show with a small group of people at my house, with my family out of town hoping to just manage, out of town with extended family, with Kelly possibly going into labor, with church friends, and trying to fit in a movie marathon. Some of these were tremendous and others were just OK. One thing I have noticed is that the quality of my year to come was not really based on what method I began it with.

Coming on the heels of holidays that are usually so bound to traditions, I think culturally we revel in the ability to do whatever pleases us from year to year. What I do want to recognize, however, is that celebrating the mundane is really cool. After all this is what life as a parent can be. We attempt to make a huge deal out of things that really don’t amount to much. We celebrate the passage of time, the accomplishment of small things, and those moments that will never be duplicated. That’s why this holiday can be the ultimate parental test.

We can celebrate this by making our kids go to bed as they normally would, we can celebrate by allowing them to recognize this shift with us, or we can make it something ceremonially huge. We are moving forward and we can’t go back in time. We can’t unwrite blogs or unsay words or undo actions or change the past. But we can live deliberately into the future. We can look ahead and say whatever made my life what it was doesn’t have to bind me any more. I can improve my words, activities, actions, and friendships. And I think this is the essence of what we want to celebrate with these new beginnings. The problem is that most new years resolutions are dropped within a month. Most of us do not have the ability to change ourselves, our habits, and our actions. I would submit that we cannot improve ourselves without the assistance of God.

So, if you find yourself this New Year looking at the predictions of Nostradamus, the Presidential election, or just your own personal life with minimized hope, know that there is the ultimate Hope giver. It is true that God can change you, and there are many of us that would love to help you find that hope of better change!

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One Response to “New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day”

  1. Jenni March 9, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Let's make New Year's Eve traditions for our families, in celebration of the ultimate Hope Giver. I love this!

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