Happy eve of New Year’s Eve! For the occasion, R.R. Reno explains in his On the Square column why he’s never liked New Year’s Eve celebrations and why you shouldn’t either:
New Year’s Eve is an essentially pagan holiday of renewal, one that celebrates our collective ability to leap from one year to the next without falling into the abyss of death.
I’ve been to some New Year’s Eve parties, even stayed up to bring in the New Year on a few occasions. The atmosphere has always struck me as tinged with desperation. Sand is flowing out of the hourglass. In those final hours, we’re suddenly more aware that the past and present—all that we know—are slipping away. Then, at the stroke of midnight and to the relief of all, the Fates grasp the timepiece and suddenly turn it upside down to begin again.
Not only desperation but also anxiety pervades efforts to ring in the New Year. Days shorten through the fall as the year winds down toward its end. Pages are torn from the calendar until we reach that thin final page. It’s as if life hangs on by the same thin margin, and a gaping void of nothingness waits for us as we draw back the curtain of time.