The tradition of New Year's Day

by Lorin Michel Friday, January 1, 2016 6:00 PM

I'm not entirely sure when it started but I remember a New Year's Eve many years ago, maybe as long ago as 1998 or 1999. In those days we sort of celebrated New Year's. I say sort of because we'd always did lobster and we'd always had at least one couple over. Often times it was Roy and Bobbi. We'd buy the lobsters locally. Kevin would cook them. I used to cook lobster by the crate when I was in college and it never bothered me. It started bothering me when Justin came into my life.

It always freaked Bobbi out, having an entire lobster on her plate. She didn't like the eyes. Kevin used to fabricate tiny paper sunglasses and put them on her lobster. I'm not sure it mitigated the issue but it sure made it funnier. 

On that particular New Year's Eve day, we woke up to pouring rain. Torrential. It was lovely even though we knew we had to go out to get the lobster as well as other stuff. I remember that we also needed to go to Costco; I don't remember why. I do remember that we were in no hurry to go out so we grabbed the remote, snuggled down under the covers and watched The Twilight Zone.

Every year, SyFy runs a marathon of the quintessential science fiction series, one I had never watched until that morning. I had seen snippets over the years; it was often running on late night. For some reason, the sound of the rain, the dark gray of the day, the warm of the covers made watching episode after episode after episode of the creepy, moralistic black and white show the perfect way to wile away the morning. Eventually we had to get up and go out into the wet cold, but a tradition was born. 

Every New Year's Day I de-Christmas the house. The Byers Choice Carolers, my beautiful collection, get carefully put away for the year. I take them all down from where they are in the great room and put them on the coffee table. I pull out the cases I keep them in throughout the year and I pack them according to height (some are taller and need the taller case). This takes a surprisingly long time. Once they're done, I tackle the tree. As it's artificial it comes apart in sections and requires two big boxes. I take off the lights. This year I put two birds at the top so naturally I'll remove those; also the ribbon I wrapped around it because I didn’t know where my ornaments were. Everything will get boxed and carted out to the garage. 

This year we had a wreath that I need to de-light. The wreath is fresh so it will get tossed. There is also a small lighted tree on the hearth. Justin sent it last year. That will get collapsed and boxed, as will the big Santa my mom and sister bought me years ago, and the Karen Didion wine Santa that Kevin bought. All boxed and put into the storage unit in the garage (except the Carolers - they stay in a closet in the house) 

Then I clean. Then I put back the various objects I had to move to other places to make room for the Christmas stuff. The house will once again be back to normal, ready for the next 11 months before I re-Christmas the house.

All day, as I go about my task, I'll have The Twilight Zone marathon on. I'll mostly listen and occasionally glance up to see what star who wasn't yet a star is starring. I love the juxtaposition and the symbolism. Christmas meets Rod Serling. I bet there's at least one episode of weirdness that will show just how odd and strange it is to have the pseudo horror of The Twilight Zone and the complete magic of Christmas in the same room. That's a celebration I'd watch, and will, all this New Year's Day. 

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