Happy New Year.
Do you know how often I say that to people?
Truth be told, this morning was the first time I think I've ever wished someone a Happy New Year while not singing 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas.'
Happy New Year. Does such a wish apply to January 1st, or is it somehow to encompass the whole year? Ever asked someone whether their year has been happy in the middle of June? By December we're anticipating another New Year and have given up on how happy the previous year should have been. Maybe this next New Year will truly be Happy. This last one sucked. They all do. But Happy New Year, this next time for real. No, seriously, I mean it.
New Year's...we expect to feel different the following morning, and perhaps we do...if we had too much to drink the night before. I've never felt cleansed after the ball has dropped, have never felt revitalized after midnight, have never been inspired by 'Auld Lang Syne.' December 31st is an excuse to get together with friends and family and January 1st is an excuse to take off work, watch football, and eat too much. How quickly those resolutions to be more productive, watch less TV, and go on a diet went out the window.
New Year's has so much false bravado and so many empty promises unfulfilled even by day's end tacked onto it that I can't say I've ever truly enjoyed it. And it's not just high expectations, either. What is this one day that we think everything will be different when we wake up? Where's the truth about New Year's? When is anything about New Year's true (aside from my truly having my 3rd drink, my truly playing euchre with a couple friends because we can, my truly wishing my wife had New Year's Eve off for once, my true plans to sit around tomorrow after church, my truly low expectations for worship attendance...again)? I'm talking about those hopes and dreams and promises that everyone makes and nobody realizes.
We begin our New Year with a list of ideals and soon come back to reality where January 1st is really just another day on the calendar, there is still hunger and disease, and if we can improve ourselves, let alone the world, by 0.00000001%, it'll be as Happy a New Year as anyone can hope for.
And that's why, aside from a chance to be with loved ones, aside from a great opportunity to play some games and enjoy some food, I think New Year's is absolutely ridiculous.