Happy Feast of the Maternity of Mary

Or of St. Basil, if you happen to be Greek Orthodox.
I confess the turn of the year is what my brother calls a peer pressure holiday for me: I note it more because others seem to enjoy it. To me, the emotional new year takes place in September with the start of the academic year, and of course the liturgical new year is the beginning of Advent. And we're still in the middle of Christmas, so tonight doesn't "feel" like a beginning to me.
Nonetheless, we do have something of a New Year's Eve tradition: we go re-live the great battles of the Cold War with Czech & Russian ex-pats and veterans of Voice of America's Russian service. My favorite guest is an expert on Soviet intelligence matters and he always regales us with truly hilarious tales of spying gone wrong or exchanges between diplomats who were very aware of each other's spying, yet professionally unaware. . . . Everything's funny now that it's over. Which I guess is a good summary of the year. God's in his heaven, all's right with the world. Happy New Year everyone.
And P.S. if you live in a cold part of the world: New Year's Eve is the feast of St. Sylvester, and here's a recipe for Poncz Sylwestrowy, St. Sylvester's punch, from Evelyn Birge Vitz' A Continual Feast. More potent than champagne, I promise you.
2 oranges & 2 lemons, grated rind & juice
sugar to taste (about a cup)
4 c white wine
2 c light rum
Grate the rinds of all fruit. Combine with sugar, wine & rum in a large pan. Add the strained juices of the fruit. Heat but do not boil and serve hot. Dilute with hot water if desired --it's strong. Then again, no Pole would. Yields about 16 servings.