On December 26, the “Second Day of Christmas,” I offered my observation that for many Americans, the day after Christmas ― the twenty-sixth of December ― is the end of the Christmas season.
Though we are not a religious family, we enjoy many Christmas traditions. I resolved to enjoy all the Twelve Days of Christmas, from Christmas Day until Epiphany on January 6th, and to do so in part by writing a bit each day about some aspect of the Christmas season. All the essays may be read here.
Today, the Eighth Day of Christmas, is New Year’s Day, January 1st, the first day of the calendar year.
Yes, it’s the New Year by the calendar we keep – but that’s only one of the “years” that we observe or keep track of in our family.
For K, the academic year runs from September to May. She’s just finished her first semester, so she’s half-way through a most important year, her first away at school.
For the nonprofit organization on whose board I sit, the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. We’re not quite half-way through our year.
In the Christian community, the “church year,” which begins at Advent, has just begun. (I am not a religious person, but many of my singing activities are associated with religious holidays and institutions.)
The arts season or “year” runs from autumn through spring, roughly September through May, meaning that we are about halfway through the season. I’ve sung about half the concerts for which I am contracted or committed this season.
The professional cycling season is concentrated in the spring, summer, and early fall. Most cyclists are in training mode now. (On Christmas Day, D passed the 8,000 mile mark for 2011!)
And of course, each of us has a birth year; D and I are just past the half-way marks for our current years, and K is one third of the way through hers.
The seasons of nature have no beginning and no end, so I can’t even speculate about where in nature’s “year” we are at the moment. It just is.