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{RFN} Celebrating New Year's Day

Celebrating New Year's Day

 

New Year's Day is quite an unusual holiday in that its purpose is to denote a change of date. Thanksgiving is a tradition for family and feasting, Halloween holds the darker side of tradition, with candy for kiddies of course, the 4th of July celebrates independence, and Christmas is a holiday dedicated to the coming of Christ, with possibly the strongest symbols and themes of the year which stretch beyond the expected boundaries of religion.
New Year's also fits into the context of Christmas, both in terms of when it occurs (Right in the middle of the 12 days of Christmas) and what it stands for. "We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas......... and a happy new year" I think that New Year's Day can be a little bit more than an anecdote to another holiday; in fact, I consider New Year's part of Christmas. After celebrating sacrifice in preparing for Christmas...  faith, hope, love, the bonds between friends and family, generosity,and good cheer during Christmas... it is quite appropriate to complete your celebration by reflecting on the year before and looking ahead during New Year's.

Think about some of the holiday classics. How many of them contain symbols and themes that are so appropriate to New Year's? "It's a Wonderful Life" is a reflection of life and how much it means to us... "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" ends with the Grinch redeeming himself and becoming a big part of the very season he tried to avoid- stealing Christmas in a very different way... "A Christmas Carol" is once again, a story about redemption, and it looks backward, it looks beyond itself in the present day, and it looks ahead- sounds like New Year to me! Let's not forget the original Christmas story. The Nativity was more than the beginning of a new year, it was the beginning of the next chapter of the word's history. The new term "common era" still starts at the same time, and coincides with "Anno Domini". The religious Christmas season does not end until the Epiphany, the pilgrimage of three lords from the east. What does epiphany mean in modern day usage?

 

Celebrate New Year by taking that fabled Christmas Spirit and using it to reflect and renew... much like Ebeneezer Scrooge or George Bailey. Hope, and self-improvement are very much a part of Christmas. New Year is not an anecdote, but a continuation of Christmas.

 

Merry Christmas,

Jarrett Voight (JEV3)

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