Happy New Year - yes, now! - Catholic Courier

Happy New Year — yes, now!

In no way am I suggesting a change to the Christian tradition of New Year’s, which falls on Jan. 1 to signify Jesus’ circumcision and his naming.

On the other hand, there are actually numerous "new years" of sorts out there: the Chinese New Year in mid-January; the fiscal year for our diocese begins the last Tuesday in June; the Catholic Church’s liturgical year starts in late November, to name a few.

And in terms of daily living in upstate New York, I can’t think of any time of year more than right now that feels like we’re transitioning into something new.

Consider the jarring lifestyle shift that accompanies the week of Labor Day. Summer comes to a screeching halt, even though the season officially doesn’t end for a couple more weeks. Boaters, sunbathers and barbecuers disappear; amusement parks and beaches close down. Meanwhile, school buses carrying bleary-eyed kids grumbling about their early wake-up times fill the streets as their new school year begins. Professional and college football vie with baseball pennant races for sports headlines.

That feels much more like a series of transitions than Dec. 31, which is celebrated in society as a single night of parties and fireworks before we settle back into battling snow and cold for a few more months.

So even though I’m way ahead of schedule in a certain sense, please accept my fondest wishes for a happy New Year!

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