If you're feeling the urge to get organized at this time of year, there's some ancient tradition behind that, as I just discovered.
The Babylonians believed that Marduk had created the world, and made it one of order, beauty, and peace. It hadn't been an easy task, however - first he'd had to fight a grueling battle and defeat the monsters of chaos.-- Yule, by Dorothy Morrison
Each year, everything went along splendidly until the cooler weather brought winter; then the monsters regained their strength and once again challenged Marduk's reign. The battle was on and lasted for twelve days, but Marduk could no longer defeat the monsters by Himself. He needed the help of the people. It was their job to cheer Him on and help Him win the war. Only then could order be restored, and beauty and peace on Earth be renewed.
The Zagmuk festival began five days before Winter Solstice and lasted six days after, with the peak of the festival falling on the Solstice itself. On the seventh day, the Sun stayed in the sky longer - a sure sign that Marduk was well on his way to victory.
[picture of Marduk from rootsweb]