Welcome, 2017. It's good to see you.

Let's talk about your predecessor. Most seem to be under the impression that he did an awful job. My Facebook feed routinely has references to him being "like, totally the worst one ever."

I'm not going to go nearly that far. Sure, he claimed more than his fair share of our beloved celebrities, but that doesn't quite measure up to some of the atrocities of the past.

Now, personally, that cranky curmudgeon took me on quite a roller coaster ride. Though my daughter was born in the glorious 2015, it was at the very end and most of her first year took place in his presence. So, that was cool.

And, oh yeah, the Cubs won the World Series.

Given those two things, it's going to be pretty hard to for me to place him on the Mount Rushmore of bad years. But, my family also endured more than its fair share of personal turmoil. I was hospitalized twice earlier in the year and there were numerous other issues.

Then there was that election thing. It's going to be tough to forgive him for that one, but you, my friend, have a chance to help us out there.

Yeah, your boy gave us the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It was quite an experience, but given those highs, it's not something I'd trade for anything.

So, today, you're just a baby. We'll change your diapers and take care of you for a few days, but dude, there's work to do, so you'll need to get on your feet quickly.

My little girl has plenty of growing to do, our country needs help (the world could use some, too), I need one of those NES Classic Editions and let's see what we can do about those Cubbies, eh?

Baby New Year, I have faith in you. You're going to do great. 

But, please, keep your paws off Betty White.

Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at aparkhouse@thenewsdispatch.com or 219-214-4170.

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