I’m not a humbug. I just want to set the celebration back by twenty-four hours. So, Happy End Year!
Though perhaps the world’s most widely observed secular holiday, New Year’s commemorates neither a celestial nor historical event. It’s but an arbitrary turn of the calendar. Call it the holiday of second chances when people delight in fresh starts and swear by self-improving resolutions. By hallowed tradition, we stumble into it drunk and wake up to it hung-over and nauseated.
Perhaps December 31st ought to be the day of revelry. In most things we celebrate completion, accomplishments. Imagine politicians whooping it up on announcing their candidacies, ballplayers breaking out the champagne on the first day of spring training, or novelists going on a bender after penning their initial paragraph. But even if we don’t win the election, make the World Series, or finish the first chapter, year’s end is a fine time to treat ourselves with some frivolous fun. Even closing the books on a bad year when we want to say good riddance to hard times is a justifiable cause for merriment.
Realizing that fighting centuries of tradition unimpeded by progress is a lost cause, I suggest a modest proposal. Why not start the holiday a day earlier by proclaiming a national celebration to both end and begin the year? Who could object to two days of seamless partying? By the end we’d probably forget what it was all about anyway.
Happy End Year! Happy New Year!