From My WindowIssue Date: December 27, 2017
Happy New Year!
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
I have never really been a fan of New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. It's a "letdown" after Christmas; it involves staying up late, which I detest; and it marks the start of January, probably my least favorite month for a lot of reasons.
I used to like it a little bit when I was still working, as it was wonderful to see that full vacation day quota pop up on my computer right after my return to work after the holiday " but I don't need that little boost any more, since I am retired. And, when I was a young teenager, it was a big money night for babysitting, which was great. (Even at the going rate of 50 cents an hour, I often got $5 on New Year's Eve, if the parents were fully into late night partying.)
But I am re-thinking my dislike of this holiday this year, and here's why.
Given that 2017 was a year of political and social chaos, unlike anything I've seen since the social unrest of the 1960's; I can honestly say that while I had some wonderful things happen in my personal life, I found most of the news of 2017 deeply and profoundly disturbing. I have simmered over the cultural discord, and been shocked and disappointed frequently.
But I bet it's going to be very hard, even in this current rancorous atmosphere, to find a lot of social discord, disagreements, or political nastiness over this particular holiday. It is a secular event, driven only by the calendar. No one protests the arrival of the New Year. It would do no good " time marches on, and this is all about marking the passage of time. As far as I know, no one's religion has issues with New Year's Eve or Day. And I've never heard someone say they wished the prior year would never end.
You can choose to go out and party wildly " or attend a small, elegant celebration. You can stay home with your kiddos, put on your jammies and watch movies, or you can go outdoors and spend time in our beautiful environment, skiing, hiking, or whatever other active lifestyle activities are available in your area. Or, you can cuddle up with a special someone and watch the ball drop in other countries around the world on TV.
If you are a football fan, New Year's Day is a really great day, with a menu of bowl games (we will, of course, be cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners, while feeling badly we can't cheer on the Wisconsin Badgers.)
Nothing dictates what you eat " unless you have a family tradition you follow. A bottle of champagne is always nice, though.
Happy New Year to all of you. Let's start 2018 with optimism that it will be a good year of peace, safety, common sense, and civility.
If you do choose to make alcohol a part of your celebrations, please make arrangements for safe travel. I wish each and every one of you a safe, tranquil and healthy 2018. And as I close the last column for 2017, I'd like to send a special thanks and a hug to those of you who have contacted me over the past year. Your kindness, commentary and humor is truly appreciated.
You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.
Recent stories, opinions and photos