It was the first Christmas and Bethlehem was abuzz with excitement over the new birth. There was singing, and praising, and a few days off from work.
Eventually, one of the city councilmen said, “Gentlemen, we have a problem. Up ’til now, all of our years have been labeled BC, Before Christ. But now that he’s here, we have to change them all to AD, something in Latin” What surprises me is that nobody saw this coming. After all of the declining year numbers, 25 BC, 24 BC, 23 BC, you would think that somebody would have figured out that 1 was the last of the BC series.
So the city council decided that they had to print up new calendars for the new year and decided to make New Year’s Day in one week. They set up a stage in the town square, blew up balloons made of sheep bladders, and invited everybody to come.
While the crowd assembled, someone said, “How long until midnight?” Which prompted a response of “What’s midnight?” Back then, the only time pieces they had were sundials which are very inaccurate at night. It’s like 4 PM, 5 PM, 6PM, Darrrrrk, 6 AM, 7Am, 8 AM. At this point, one council member said, “Hey, I got an hour glass as a Christmas present, let me go home and get it and we’ll make midnight in an hour.
At this point, the people gathered to party and listen to the band of Guy Lombardo and the Royal Corinthians. When the hour glass arrived, it was time for a count down. Dick Clark got on stage, he was just a kid back then, and told everybody, “Count down with me, X, IX, VIII, VII, VI, V, IV, III, II, I, happy new year!
And there was great joy and dancing and spiked camel’s milk and everybody stayed up late and made resolutions. Then, the next morning, there was a big parade with goats, and camels, and sheep, all covered in flower petals. They paraded through the streets and wound up at the athletic field where the Pharisees faced the Sadducees in the first Manna Bowl.
The next day, everybody went back to work with a new calendar and man went shopping for the January White Sale at Bedouin, Bath, and Beyond.
And now you know the rest of the story of the first New Year. Have a great celebration and we will see you…next year!