When Does the ‘New Year’ Stop Being New?

Tonight I finally took out our large 2014 wall calendar and filled in those dentist and doctor appointments we already have, those annual trips like hubby’s golf outing, and the regular appointments like poetry and writing critique groups. It made  the year feel full already. And I wondered, when does the ‘New Year’ stop being new? I mean, how long can I wish people ‘Happy New Year!’ and not get funny looks?

I imagine it may be different for everyone.

Is there some kind of ‘official’ date and activity, like January 2nd once the traditional New Year begins and similar to other holidays it’s over after 24 hours? Does it end once the last float of the Rose Bowl Parade slips from view, the last TD has been scored in the Rose Bowl game? Or how about after the collard greens and black-eyed peas – or pork, sauerkraut and potatoes for us Northerners – have been eaten?

Is it once the Christmas decorations come down and are tucked away? In some homes that would put New Year’s Day on December 26th! At my house it will be late January or early February. The decorations are based more on a liturgical calendar than the secular one – Christmas doesn’t end until Epiphany on January 6th or Candlemas Day on February 2nd. It depends on how fresh the tree stays …we have a great tree this year so probably closer to February  🙂

Does the New Year feel old as soon as we get back to work? The busy-ness of the holidays is over and we settle back into daily busy-ness. Does it already feel like an old year once we’re back into our old routines?

Or is the transition more of a feeling? That first time we write the correct year on our checks – for those of us who still write checks – instead of writing the previous year and we realize it’s out of habit and not because we had to cross out the date and rewrite it?

For those in the snow belt maybe it’s when all that beautiful snow that makes everything look crisp, pure and new … turns brown and slushy and is a reminder that the dreary days of winter have descended.

Is it in February when those resolutions that did get made taper off into oblivion?

What about the way other new things become old~the pair of shoes that is broken in or the pair of jeans that needs to be worn and washed into comfort. Is there a point when the year just feels comfortable after the activity of the holidays?

Or maybe it’s when we find we’ve relaxed a bit and aren’t so hard on ourselves because we’re not exercising like we promised, or we’ve not made every recipe we collected off Pinterest. It’s rather like the new car no one is allowed to eat or drink in … until it’s ok; or the carpet that requires everyone to take off their shoes at the door … until it’s ok not to.

Maybe it’s none of the above and it’s simply a state of mind. That as long as you feel a sense of renewal, rebirth and hope for the year ahead, it’s still a New Year.

So here it is only January 6th, and even though my 2014 calendar is already filling in, the year still feels new and full of hope. So to all of you a blessed and Happy New Year!



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6 Responses to When Does the ‘New Year’ Stop Being New?

  1. Enjoyed reading this Kim. It gave me a lot to think about. I normally like the new year coming in because I feel like I can start out fresh . I can forget about what I didn’t get done last year,& now I can start all over again,& maybe I wiil conquer it this year. This year is a little different though. I’m having problems moving on because of our loss of baby Naomi . I didn’t even get a chance to meet her. & we did have a Memorial service for her,& yet I feel like there is something else we need to do,& I just don’t know what that is yet. Once I figure that out then maybe I can go on into the new year,& start again. Love You Cuz .

    • Thank you Sue ~ you have some inspiring words yourself! My heart is with you and the rest as you mourn Naomi. I know not being able to meet and hold her has made her passing all that more difficult. I love what my dear friend Claire wrote about prayers and Naomi always being in your heart and eventually your New Year will begin. If there is the sense something else is to be done, then it will also eventually be revealed to you. And it may be something totally unexpected~be open to anything. You know my prayers are added as well.
      Love you ~ Kim

  2. Claire says:

    Kim –
    I will never tire of taking virtual journeys with you. This one is no exception – a journey from one year to the next. Only you can share such a fun and delicious journey. And easy for some, because they are happy to leave a lot of things behind (or give themselves permission to do so).
    Perhaps things accomplished give us the bonus of being able to move forward, and maybe other things – not done – are able to be forgiven or forgotten. Perhaps the newness of the New Year ends when the new calendar sheets begin to curl?! How fortunate for those of us who need only consider this type of reasoning.
    Susan –
    A part of my heart will be with you this year – as you struggle in the oldness of the year where your heart and mind still reside, as well as the newness of this year that beckons to you, but is too difficult to embrace without Naomi in your arms. I can only offer my prayers in the hope that before too long into this year, knowing that Naomi will always be in your heart – your New Year can begin.
    Love to you both for your sharing!

    • Claire, I love your image of the calendar sheets curling! Yes, it’s interesting how differently people say good-bye to the old year and face the new one. Always love having you along for my virtual journeys – hope there will be more of them this year!

  3. Harriett Diller says:

    I enjoyed reading this, Kim. We still have our tree up, too. Wish we could keep it up until Candlemas!

    • Thank you, Harriett. Ours is looking a bit sad and droopy, the ornaments aren’t spaced quite as closely as they were a couple weeks ago 🙂 But the thing is still drinking water, smells fresh and has dropped hardly any needles. We’ll see how it’s holding up by the end of the month. Hope your 2014 is a wonderful one. New book coming out?

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