Whether you’re preparing for a New Year’s toast or simply looking for some inspiration to put you in the mood for the dawning of the year to come, quotations are a prime asset. From the vast sea of quote-worthy things said about the New Year, here are the top ten.
10. Bill Vaughan
Well known for his folksy quotations chock full of thoughtful wisdom, Bill Vaughan was a columnist for the Kansas City Star and also wrote for Reader’s Digest and Better Homes and Gardens. He has several quotes about New Year’s Eve, but here’s a favorite:
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
9. Benjamin Franklin
Speaking of famed quotations, few American public figures are as frequently quoted with admiration as Benjamin Franklin. A scientist, inventor, politician, diplomat and Founding Father, the multifaceted man had this wisdom to impart:
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.
8. Charles Lamb
Charles Lamb (1775-1834) was an English essayist considered to be one of the most beloved figures in English literature. He has a number of noteworthy quotes about the New Year; this short but sweet quote is one example:
New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.
7. Edward Payson Powell
Edward Payson Powell is a giant in the world of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings. The author and journalist penned many quotable works, and had this celebratory statement about the New Year:
The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!
6. Oprah Winfrey
We all know Oprah Winfrey for her epic television show, magazine and other public works. This extremely powerful and influential woman made this toast to the New Year:
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
5. Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson is one of the most cherished poets in the English language. He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during Queen Victoria’s reign. Lines from many of his poems have become commonplace phrases. A snippet of poetry worth celebrating on the occasion of the New Year is as follows:
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
4. Henry Ward Beecher
Famed abolitionist, social reformer, clergyman and speaker Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was one of the best-known men in America during his time, both for his works and for the scandal that surrounded his private life. Nevertheless, he imparted great wisdom for all generations, and had this to say about the New Year:
Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.
3. Mark Twain
One of the most acerbic, wise and prolific authors in American literature, Mark Twain always had something witty and thought-provoking to say about any circumstance. The celebration of the New Year was no exception. Here he tackles that most famous of New Year’s traditions, the resolution:
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.
2. T.S. Eliot
Famed American poet Tomas Stearns Eliot, aka T.S. Eliot, wrote many time-honored masterpieces over the course of his life. He was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for such beautiful verse as this, which contemplates the New Year:
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.
1. Jay Leno
American comedian and late night host Jay Leno is still going strong on television and in pop culture. His one-liners are often quoted, and this somewhat racy quip about the New Year tops this list for chuckle factor:
New Year’s Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive.