There are four north poles. Yeah, that's right, four. The first is the axial pole, around which the planet spins once a day. The second is the magnetic poll, which is why compases work, and the third is...the other magnetic pole,called the North Geomagnetic Pole, which is similar but different because of the fourth called the South Atlantic Anomaly, which is the beginnings of a thousand year long flipping of the earth's magnetic field. (there are only two south poles, BTW)
I mention this because all three north poles are moving. Keeping the SAA, out of the picture for the moment, the North Magnetic Pole is headed for Eastern Siberia and the North Axial pole is doing it's 26,000 year circle around itself, called the precession of the equinoxes. One complete period of this precession is called a Great Sidereal Year. At the moment, we are in the middle of the "Age of Pices"(the "Age of Aquarius"doesn't start for another six hundred years).
What this means is that the north axial pole is facing away from the Sun when we reach perihelion, the closest point in our orbit. What's an interesting coincidence, is that the perihelion is always somewhere around January the first. In other words, Pope Gregory XIV, didn't know that the New Year on his new calender had anything to do with an actual natural event.
This year, it's on fourth, and thus, we can continue to celebrate the New year 2007 for the better part of a week.
It's all the sweeter with a Democratic congress coming in. So stay warm and be cool....