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New Year's Day - What Writers Say About New Year's Eve & New Year's Day - Quotes

Discover what's been said about the New Year's holiday...


Boy and girl celebrating New Year's Eve
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It's the first day of the year, a time when we remember the year that's past, make resolutions, plan for the year ahead, and just have fun! Writers have said a lot about the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Celebrate the start of a whole new year--with these quotes from famous authors like Charles Lamb and Benjamin Franklin.

  • "The only way to spend New Year's Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears."
    - W.H. Auden
  • "One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things."
    - John Burroughs
  • "The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective."
    - G.K. Chesterton
  • "For last year's words belong to last year's language
    And next year's words await another voice.
    And to make an end is to make a beginning."
    - T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"
  • "I do think New Year's resolutions can't technically be expected to begin on New Year's Day, don't you? Since, because it's an extension of New Year's Eve, smokers are already on a smoking roll and cannot be expected to stop abruptly on the stroke of midnight with so much nicotine in the system. Also dieting on New Year's Day isn't a good idea as you can't eat rationally but really need to be free to consume whatever is necessary, moment by moment, in order to ease your hangover. I think it would be much more sensible if resolutions began generally on January the second."
    - Helen Fielding, "Bridget Jones's Diary"
  • "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."
    - Benjamin Franklin
  • "But can one still make resolutions when one is over forty? I live according to twenty-year-old habits."
    - Andre Gide
  • "We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential."
    - Ellen Goodman
  • "A happy New Year! Grant that I
    May bring no tear to any eye
    When this New Year in time shall end
    Let it be said I've played the friend,
    Have lived and loved and labored here,
    And made of it a happy year."
    - Edgar Guest
  • "And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,
    And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
    To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd
    Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury -
    Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
    The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
    And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
    Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen."
    - Thomas Hood
  • "No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam."
    - Charles Lamb
  • "Of all sound of all bells... most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year."
    - Charles Lamb
  • "Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols."
    - Thomas Mann
  • "I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me."
    - Anaïs Nin
  • "We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
    - Edith Lovejoy Pierce
  • "Each age has deemed the new-born year
    The fittest time for festal cheer."
    - Sir Walter Scott
  • "It wouldn't be New Year's if I didn't have regrets."
    - William Thomas
  • "New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
    - Mark Twain
  • "Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever."
    - Mark Twain
  • "A new oath holds pretty well; but... when it is become old, and frayed out, and damaged by a dozen annual retryings of its remains, it ceases to be serviceable; any little strain will snap it."
    - Mark Twain, speech in New York City, 31 March 1885
  • "New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions."
    - Mark Twain
  • "We meet today
    To thank Thee for the era done,
    And Thee for the opening one."
    - John Greenleaf Whittier
  • "Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account."
    - Oscar Wilde

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