Why the New Year is Better than Christmas

     I have a confession.

     I like the New Year better than Christmas.

     Before I explain why, I want to say that I don't believe that this is in any way sacrilegious.

     Yes, Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus's birth and humanity that eventually led to our salvation. And that is the singular most beautiful thing He has done for us. I do love Christmas. How could I not?

     It's just that new beginnings and fresh starts are also from Him.

     Here are the reasons why New Year is better than Christmas (in my opinion):

1. Less commercialization. There's no getting around the fact that Christmas has some major marketing surrounding it, especially in America, where we seem entitled to anything and everything we don't have (or a second one of something we already have). Between Christmas songs, food, traditions, presents, parties, and traveling, the whole Christmas season is just noise, Noise, NOISE, NOISE. But the New Year's Eve/Day literally has a ball drop, champagne, and party blowers. That's it. (And you don't have to bother about presents!)

2. Newness and life. Although spring is renowned as a celebration of life and Christmas as the celebration of a baby Savior, New Year is the most relevant fresh start for me and many others. There's nothing like writing 1/1/-- in a journal. There's nothing like a blank calendar or planner. The possibilities are endless, and we realize that a new set of 365 days contains that huge potential.

3. Goal-setting and aspirations. While Christmas is like an end-of-an-exhausting-year-last-hurrah kind of party, New Year's Day is the party where you're gearing up for something exciting. The feeling of fresh opportunity inspires us to turn over a new leaf. Whether you make resolutions or goals, your hopes are high for what the new you can do in a new year.

     But we must realize that we are not really new people. When we go to high school, we are not magically new people. When we go to college or get married, we are always still the same person as the day before. Those things don't change us, but God's Word and our actions can change us. The new year will challenge us, and we will challenge ourselves to grow into wiser, healthier, and kinder individuals.

4. Evaluating last year. Hindsight's 20/20, and looking at the past year is no exception. When we look at 365 crazy days as a whole, we can start to make observations and mark what really happened in our hearts and minds. Maybe we weren't as kind as we thought we were being. Maybe we achieved more success than we thought we ever could in a year. Maybe we fell short on some goals but surpassed others. Maybe we're in a new location, with new people, or learning new things than we were 365 days ago.

5. Hope. Every year comes with a fresh dose of hope. Christmas is hopeful too but only in a less relatable way. It's hard to get into the mindset of anticipating a baby Savior who has actually already come. It's easier to look forward to his Second Coming. With a new year, we realize that this could be the year. This could be the one that He returns to. It could be a year we realize our own inconsistencies, but there is the hope of improving in those areas. It could be a year where God takes us to exciting new places, and there is a hope, a confidence, an assurance that He will be with us even then. (Hope was my word of the year for 2016, and this is the closest thing to a wrap-up I plan to do.)

    In conclusion, New Year is a more relatable celebration of life and possibilities than Christmas is. Both Christmas and New Year are wonderful times for hope. Both are wonderful.

     If you're a Christmas fanatic, please just move past this post in acceptance that I am different. If you happen to agree, let me know I'm not the only one fascinated by the newness and excitement that January 1st holds.


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