Many witches and pagans will celebrate their New Year at Samhain. Many will celebrate at Samhain and at the beginning of the Calendar New Year. I fall into the latter category, having spent my life surrounded by non witchy people it always just feels as easy to begin my year on January 1st. I do however, begin witchy projects at Smahain, given that this is traditionally the witches New Year.
For my "normal" life January 1st makes much more sense for a New Year as that is when the western world is celebrating and beginning afresh. There are things to sort out in my "normal" life that cannot be started in early November. There are home education projects, lesson plans and so on that make more sense to begin in January. Pretty much everything in my life that is not connected to witchcraft falls in with the usual New Year because my witchy beliefs are still very much in the closet - my real life is not ready to have my MIL, among others, knowing about my beliefs.
I have been asked in the past if I feel cheated because I am not openly sharing my beliefs, but the answer is no. I can honestly say that being very private about my witchyness does not bother me in the slightest. And because I was brought up celebrating Xmas, New Year and Easter, I continue to do so with my family - even though they know I don't celebrate with the Christian meanings. They also know that I have my own little rituals I do on certain sabbats and they respect that.
For many years my parents hosted a New Year's party, so it would of been kind of hard not to get caught up in the celebrations without having to reveal why I wasn't getting involved. I guess it is a matter of what you are used to, what you are prepared to tolerate and what you absolutely must do yourself.
I always say that whatever feels right for you, deep down inside of you, in your heart, is the right thing to do for you. Even if this seems at odds with other witches and pagans, so long as you aren't deliberately hurting another then you are doing just fine.
I think living in a city that has almost no pagan presence has shaped the way I am. Of course I know there are other witches and pagans around, but they obviously want to remain anonymous for the time being and I can understand that.
So this New Year's Eve I am going to be planning for my "normal" life, seeing what and who is no longer relevant and performing whatever rituals and meditations I need to help me on my way.
Whatever your beliefs, however and whenever you celebrate, I wish you a joyous New Year and hope that 2012 is kind to you.