When I was a kid, I learned that the holidays kept going until the official twelfth day of Christmas, which I remember as January 4th — although, curiously enough, my two sisters remember it as January 5th and 6th, respectively, suggesting that my family wasn’t exactly consistent in its timekeeping when it came to taking down decorations. Nonetheless, the point remains the same; the holiday season, when I was young, was something that continued into the week following New Year, for tradition as well as a lack of wanting to go through the effort of taking all the decorations down.
This year, however, while the fireworks were still bursting in the sky and frightening dogs throughout the land — no, really, fuck you, fireworks people — I quietly thought to myself, it’s New Year, thank God we’ve gotten through the holidays.
Was this a sudden attack of anti-seasonal grinchiness? Was it just frustration born of wanting my dog not to be losing his mind because of the fireworks, and feeling as if the entire concept of New Year wasn’t worth the trouble in the first place? Maybe both, but the restless feeling of wanting to just get on with everything and leave the tinsel behind lingered across the next few days; the decorations were gone before this morning came around.
I can’t explain my desire to get moving into the year. It clearly doesn’t make sense, especially given that it means I want to jump firmly into January, the darkest, dullest month of the year. (February, at least, has the good grace to be short, and March has spring going for it, with plants returning to life and the feeling that things are happening again; January is just there, long and cold and without much sunlight.) And yet, here we are.
Perhaps it’s a need to put more distance between ourselves and 2020, the year that felt endless like a Doctor Who plot. Or maybe it was a realization that there’s more to be found this year than usual, and it’s time to get started,