Apparently, someone in the neighborhood thinks tonight is New Year's Eve, judging by the noise they were just making outside. They got the timing just about right; it's 11:58 p.m. local time as I write this, but they're off by a day.
Although, actually, I'd be just as happy if this was New Year's Eve. I'm ready for a new year to start. Of course, because New Year's Day is on a Sunday this year, they're dragging the whole thing out an extra day. Personally, I think it is lame to have the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game on Monday when the first is on Sunday, but then I guess I don't get a vote.
You may have gotten the impression, from the preceding two paragraphs, that I'm feeling a little cranky around the whole New Year's thing. That impression would be correct. Some of the crankiness has to do with just wanting 2011 to be over with, but most of it has to do with the fact that I hate the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day with a a passion the temperature of molten rock.
I might have written about this issue here before, but just in case I haven't, the short version is this: The week between Christmas and the end of the year always seems like a week of wasted days, with one holiday just over and the other one hovering just over the horizon, waiting to happen. Also, to be completely frank, it's just an arbitrary date. A good excuse to have a party, some would say. Me? Not so much. We need a good party in, say, August, where there are no holidays. It's warmer then. A much better time for a party, in my opinion.
Let me be clear. I know the reasons why we in the Western World celebrate New Year's when we do. I know no one is going to change the date we celebrate the New Year. Except when in falls on a Sunday, and then only by one day. But two holidays seven days apart is just too much for me. It's bad enough that Halloween and Thanksgiving fall roughly a month apart, with Christmas following about a month after Thanksgiving.
On the other hand, if Samoa could jump the International Date Line, as it did this year, and lose December 30 altogether, and if my cousin's family could celebrate her birthday, which falls on Christmas Day, on the Fourth of July instead, couldn't we just move New Year's Day a little farther away from Christmas? Please?