You know what, there's no need to defer to a clock to determine when the new year starts. Saying it's 2010 because the clock struck midnight is silly. I think I can say definitively: last time I woke up it was 2009, and next time I wake up it will be 2010. Somewhere in between something has changed, or will change, and I'm not really sure what that was. Or will be. And there's no reason for it to be the same thing for everyone.
For the guy that always sets his clocks 10 minutes ahead the new year starts at 11:50, because if he doesn't get going now for that 12:30 appointment he'll be late!
For the super-cute couple the new year starts when they start kissing. Or when they finish kissing. Something to do with kissing.
For the born-and-raised Chicagoan living out in the Mountain time zone the new year starts at 11.
For the programmers and admins stuck working on banal but "critical" issues, the new year doesn't start until they're done. Even if it takes until February.
On the other hand, for some accountants it's been 2010 since October.
Maybe for me it will be 2010 when I click the button to publish this silly blog post.
Cody did a ball-drop on the roof of the Irma. I was personally hoping the guy controlling the ball would decide to call the new year based on impatience with sitting out in the cold weather.
For a lot of the people out drinking too much... well... I think they go right back to the beginning. 2009 when they last woke up, 2010 when they'll next wake up, with something uncertain happening in between. If you're one of these, please don't drive anywhere. Or handle fireworks or guns.
Happy New Year!