To me, the new year always begins after Winter Solstice. I don't know of any culture that starts the year at this time, but somehow it always seems like a beginning. The sun is now returning to our lives, little by little, and each day is longer. Spring is now officially on it's way (though I won't see any signs of it for months) and there is the promise of renewal in the air.
That makes the Christmas celebrations of my family the first celebrations of the new year, in my mind, and they begin today. For two days I will be racing from place to place, eating myself sick, and watching the Sprouts open copious gifts. It will be a good time.
I have had many things bouncing around in my head, some deep and some not so much. Hopefully in the next few days they will make their way here...but until then