Year-end musings

In the last ten years or so the Christmas and New Year week has, for us, acquired a particular significance, shaped by a culture-driven consciousness that this is a period of renewal, a time to take stock of the year gone past and to prepare for the new one ahead. Renewal, old giving way to new, is conveyed through a total shut down of commerce (workplaces are empty; business slows to almost a halt; stores are closed from the afternoon of 24th until the 27th morning, and if you do not stock up earlier only the kindness of neighbours or friends can save you), and all the year-end lists in magazines and newspapers send home, unequivocally, the message that this is a changeover period. In all, a sense of ending, an intimation of a beginning.

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