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Chasing The American Dream

January 01, 2007


Where’s Linus when you need him? I feel like Charlie Brown. You remember the scene. Charlie Brown is lost in the spirit of Christmas and struggles to find the meaning of it all. He’s exasperated and says aloud, “Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?” And of course, Linus comes to the rescue and delivers his famous, “That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown” speech. Well like Charlie Brown, I’m lost. Not about the meaning of Christmas but of New Year’s. New Year’s and I have never gotten along. I can honestly say I’ve never had a great one. Last night on TV, I watched the ball drop in Times Square. I opened my door and heard the usual pomp and circumstance, fireworks, people screaming, etc. New Year’s Eve. A worldly celebration yet for some reason, I’ve never been able to relate to this holiday.

Christmas, Easter, Hannukah, July 4th, Thanksgiving. They all have reasons to be celebrated. I understand them. But New Year’s? I mean, it could be the biggest common celebration of the world, right? But what exactly are we celebrating? Are we going that crazy over a new beginning? Crazy to where cars are flipped, shots are fired, people die? I walked around my neighborhood today to find trash everywhere and light poles toppled. Yeah, I’m sure the tragedies and the negativity are in the minority, but I still don’t get why the world goes crazy over the clock striking midnight. OK, I understood the year 2000 celebration. And I understand it IS a new year. Is THAT what we’re celebrating? Or are we celebrating the fact that we made it through the past year? Maybe if I understood the meaning of it all, I wouldn’t be so depressed every January 1st. Linus Van Pelt, where are you when I need you most?


  • I think you need to take your 5¢ and go have a chat with Lucy.


    Happy New Year anyway.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 10:06 AM, January 03, 2007  

  • And I'm not trying to be nasty or rude....I was trying to be funny.

    I hear ya. I, too, watched the New Year's Eve partying with a mix of awe and wonder.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 10:31 AM, January 03, 2007  

  • Actually, new year’s celebration began over 4000 years ago by the Babylonians. It was to coincide with the appearance of the “new moon” (crescent actually) in anticipation of springtime, which meant rebirth, planting new crops, and blossoming. Later on, the Romans mucked things up, and actually celebrated the new year into march (the old honor the new emperor thing..) Finally, around 150 BC, the Roman senate set things right and declared Jan 1 as new year’s day (of course, Julius Caesar mucked with it some more, but they got it right around 60BC). And believe it or not, the Babylonians were the first to have “new year’s resolutions”. Of course, things change dramatically over 2000 years. The Babylonians would resolve to build better houses and return borrowed farm equipment…today we resolve to quit smoking or lose weight.

    The whole first baby of the new year thing was started in Greece in 600 BC…in order to honor the rebirth of the God of Wine, Dionysus. They would parade the first baby born in the new year around in a wicker basket.

    New year’s eve celebrations were started based upon the belief that it was good luck to start the new year with family and friends. It was deemed especially lucky if one of your celebrants was a tall dark haired man…

    That's what New Year's is all about, Charlie Brown...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 AM, January 04, 2007  

  • So I can look forward to the return of my hay baler real soon, then, right?

    By Anonymous Barbara E., at 2:40 PM, January 04, 2007  

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