I have a hard time with the resolutions, fresh starts, and decluttering bonanzas that start on January 1. I still want to be in Christmas mode. Ist't it still Christmas? That's a funny question, actually. We had a good friend here this morning, a recent convert, who was asking us to explain Christmas. There is the Feast of the Nativity, of course, on December 25. Then every day until January 1 (the Feast of Mary, Mother of God) is a solemnity within the Octave of Christmas--so every day is Christmas, liturgically. But then from Mary, Mother of God to Epiphany we're still in the "Twelve Days" of Christmas and some cultures don't even celebrate Christmas until January 6th, anyway. Epiphany is further complicated by the American bishops transferring it to a Sunday so that we celebrate it anywhere from January 2-8. Confused, yet? And THEN it's still the Christmas season until the Baptism of the Lord which is the Sunday after Epiphany, except when we skip that feast because Epiphany is celebrated after January 6. This time of year is when all the liturgical junkies get their kicks.
I would really rather think about New Year's with the start of Ordinary Time. I feel like we're still waiting for Christmas around here. It was very lovely to see our families this year but we weren't able to do really any of the things that have come to signify Christmas for us. We're planning a small Epiphany celebration and thinking about prospects for long term traditions if we end up moving to Texas or something.
But 2008 arrived despite my grumblings about Christmas in our culture and I have given some thought to goals and resolutions and such. I hope to write at a bit more length on each of these very soon but here is my summary, just to get myself started.
Each year I take a word or phrase as a theme for the year to help organize my prayer, spiritual reading and journaling/blogging. Last year was "vocation" and I'm quite happy with the "results." This year my theme is "interior life." More later--probably more than you care to hear, but this blog is about me, after all.
In addition I've decided to identify some projects to work on myself and inflict on my family. I don't really want to call these goals or resolutions because I can't identify any measurable end result. These are things I want to work on, learn about, and try to improve. Warning: they sound shallow at first but I'll defend them later. Three projects: etiquette, personal style and appearance, beauty in the home.