On this day before New Year’s Eve, let’s take a look at the event’s graphic symbol. No, not Champagne bubbles, the Times Square ball, or goofy year-themed glasses, but the venerable New Year’s baby. While said baby, being without sin and all, once had religious connotations (above), its image has long been secular, as popularized by the great American illustrator Joseph Christian (J.C.) Leyendecker (1874-1951) on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post (below). Of course, babies are timeless, but sadly, so are Leyendecker’s themes (war, taxes, and stock market crashes). My overseers at Print have given me a few more days off, so the blog and I will return on January 5. Until then, while you’re not poking around the Daily Heller archives, drive safely and drink responsibly!