Christmas comes at the end of an arbitrary marking of the year, the closest thing we can get to the representation of regularity in the solar system. The ‘end’ is random. The year could start anywhere, after all. My rudimentary research indicates that there is no astronomical reason for the placement of New Year’s Day, although the earth is closest to the sun in its orbit at this time – a fact discovered long after the siting of January in the cycle. In fact, the first New Year’s celebrations tended to be held around the equinox in March and cultures other than ours maintain alternative traditions.
But this is about Christmas, not New Year, and how it seems to nicely wrap up the previous twelve months. There is pressure, in some quarters, to tidy the loose ends, get jobs completed and catch up with everyone before the big day. The fact that, in the Southern Hemisphere, the great hiatus of the summer holidays tags along, adds to the desire to ‘get stuff done’ before many of us head away from home or routine.
We often reflect at this time. How did the year go in terms of goal-reaching, health, achievement, personal life? We could just as easily set, say, August 22 as our evaluation deadline but Christmas, the close of the year, the last moments before revving up for the new one, seems a logical and emotionally comfortable choice. It’s like breathing a long sigh before we gird our loins for a new set of hopes and expectations for the next chunk of time.
So, this Christmas, I will reflect a little, revel in family connection, eat delicious food and exhale deeply. In the coming weeks I’ll look forward. I’m not a subscriber to the New Year’s Resolution but I do like to look at the year, get a picture of it in my head and put some aims in mind. I’m not sure if it’s necessary or helpful but, for me, this is a good time to take stock.
Thank you for you support. Have a merry Christmas, however you celebrate and wherever your priorities lie.
Until next year,