In Martin Hewing's ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE, unit 62, there is such a sentence:
We say 'in the New Year' to mean at or near the beginning of next year:
I'll see you again in the New Year.
My question is: What does 'near the beginning of next year' mean? Does it mean '(right) after the beginning of next year' or 'before/ toward the beginning of next year'? For I read in the dictionary that the preposition 'toward' means '(of time) near'.
Thank you very much in advance.
It is flexible. It can be the first week in the new year or the first month or even the third month. What is important is that it is after January 1st.