Happy New Year??

Seems like everyone I know went to New Year’s Eve parties a few nights ago. We stayed home. In fact most of the family was asleep long before midnight arrived. I’ve been pondering why I tend to skip this holiday, why it is no big deal, why I don’t get excited like others around me.

Some might say it’s because I’m getting old. But, I didn’t make a big deal out of New Year’s Eve/Day even when we were in our twenties. Maybe it’s because I don’t drink anymore. But, I’ve never enjoyed being surrounded by people getting drunk—even during college days. And our lack of celebration is not because we don’t have opportunities to go to special activities or invitations to parties.

So why is December 31 moving into January 1 not a big deal for me?

I realized it’s because this just doesn’t feel like the beginning of anything new. Yes, the calendar changes. But the dictates of tradition and calendar don’t change the feeling that this is still the middle of winter. It is a time to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea; a time to slog through bad weather and gray days. It is not yet a time for new beginnings.

I realized I DO celebrate each new year. I just celebrate it at a different time:

I love the beginning of new life surrounding Easter. It’s spring – moving from the dead of winter to hints and whispers of new greenery and baby critters. The sky and land are washed fresh and shining brightly. It is a time for family photos with every one dressed up in new outfits. It is also a time to celebrate the new life that is possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. I love to celebrate the NEW YEAR starting at Easter.

Then comes my birthday at the end of May. Each year I like to look back at the previous year, then look ahead to the coming year. As you know, I have declared this year “my personal year of jubilee” as I move toward a new decade and a new half century of life. I love to celebrate the NEW YEAR that starts on my birthday.

One more new beginning is significant to me each year. Each fall is the start of a new year of school. For the past 20 years that has included getting organized, finding materials, and homeschooling at least some of our kids. I love the new school supplies, the fresh backpacks, and the excitement of new-to-us books and clothes. I love to celebrate the NEW YEAR that follows the school year schedule.

So…I will follow traditions today and wish each of you a happy new year in 2012, one filled with blessings from God and a clear sense of His presence as you walk through good times and difficult places.

If you want to see me excited, however, check back at Easter…and my birthday…and even when school starts in the fall. Then I will truly

CELEBRATE the coming of a new year!

Happy New Year!

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