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January’s Secret: It’s the Best Month

January’s Secret: It’s the Best Month

Consider the plight of January, the sad sack of months.

It lacks for sunlight. It has some of the worst weather in the Northern Hemisphere — a dreary cold that happens to stretch on for 31 days.

It’s a month without social holidays. Even lowly February, its companion in the winter doldrums, has Valentine’s Day. January suffered another blow in 2022, when its one day of excitement, Super Bowl Sunday, moved permanently to the year’s second month.

Hollywood isn’t much help. Rather than providing distractions in these bleak days, the entertainment industry has made January a dumping ground for films that have no shot at winning awards or making year-end critics’ lists.

But the very things that make January a bit of a bore have endeared it to its fans. And while many people loathe the month because it means a restart of the daily grind, Robert Mac, a stand-up comedian, welcomes the return of steady work.

“I dislike breaking up my routine in the second half of December,” said Mr. Mac, 55, who lives in suburban Washington and, like many comics, travels extensively. “I can’t get anything done.”

Others like the month’s lack of social obligations and sense of calm.

“January is quickly becoming my favorite month of the year,” Chelsea Delman, a real estate agent in Providence, R.I., said in a video the she recently posted on her TikTok account, the Socialite Files. “I don’t have to go to any parties. I don’t have to go to any holidays. I don’t have to do anything. I can just chill.”

Speaking by phone, Ms. Delman, 35, sounded relieved to have made it through an overbooked December.

“I have three family birthdays in the week of Christmas,” she said. “And my father’s birthday and my best friend’s birthday are both on the 26th. By the time January comes around, I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like I’ve gone to the spa in January.”

That sense of having nowhere to go and nothing to do is one of the month’s defining features. After December’s rush of Amazon eighteen-wheelers and minivans headed to Grandmother’s house, highway traffic falls sharply in January, and the year ahead, just days old, has the clarity of the open road.

Along with its little sibling, February, January belongs to the year’s slowest period for tourism in many cities, including New York. Tiffany Townsend, a spokeswoman for New York City Tourism + Conventions, said the sparse crowds make the city more navigable.

“For travelers, and even for New…

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