New Year’s Drag

By Daniel van Voorhis

One of the great ironies of holding the moniker “the man about town” is that I really dislike parties and being out and about in groups of people. And thus, the second irony of my love of this particular holiday season is that I don’t go to many (and don’t particularly enjoy) Christmas parties and I loathe New Years Eve parties (maybe this deserves its own article; if you want to see how NOT to act at a party, you can check out most New Years Eve partygoers).

And now the season is winding down. And now the tree is starting to brown and you’re wondering if you should take the lights down now, or wait until Jan 1st. And if you wait until Jan 1st, do you light them up in the nights between now and then? Your waste bins might be bulging with ripped paper, opened boxes and torn apart packages. Maybe you are back at work, or enjoying a little more time off. But things are a little different. I should see this coming every year, but just as the Christmas cheer hits me fresh every late November, this particular melancholy always surprises me.

Shouldn’t the New Year, and its promises and possibilities give us reason to hope? Maybe. But this is usually not the case for me. I am not alone.


I try and transition from Christmas to the new season by switching out Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas Album for his 1956 debut. You can transition from traditional holiday fare with Duke Ellington’s take on Tchaikovsky.

I am, perhaps, too deep in the New Years drag to  analyze it, but I’d like to take a page from the Ghost in the Machine and suggest that perhaps the holidays, mixed with a particular kind of social media use has brought us here.  Check out this interesting take on the innovation of loneliness.

If you wouldn’t mind a little cross pollinating and promotion, Jeff and I have dealt with these issues in our own peculiar way on a number of shows.  Perhaps as you drive home from the holidays, or get back into a work rhythm (or vow to start working out) you can go a little deeper on some of these ideas with our show.

Check out our show on introversion with Dr. Jenny Cosgrove or our show on Body and Mind (and ultimately, happiness) with Dr. Betsi Little Van Fossen.  You can check out our show on facebook and technology with Dr. Van Fossen and a show on a similar theme with Dr. Joel Oesch (warning, these are early shows and so we were still working on our sound).  We deal with particular issues surrounding Christmas with Dr. Kristen Koenig and Dr. CJ Armstrong (a sociologist and classicist/theologian, together!) on our 100th episode bash.

Or maybe you are just curious about general party etiquette, we have a show on that too.

Whatever your mood as we enter the New Year, in the words of my co-host, ultimately, everything is going to be ok.

All the Best,

The Man About Town