It’s a challenge every month to spot the New Moon by naked-eye from ground level after sunset at the earliest date possible. I use the term New Moon in its traditional sense of one’s first sighting of the Moon after its monthly solar conjunction (Dark Moon). The Dark Moon (which some call New Moon) will be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2014 DEC 22 at 01:36 UT (21 at 19:36 CST).
The early spotting of a New Moon becomes much easier for observers north of the tropics as we move past the time of the winter solstice. This causes the angle at sunset to become wider between the ecliptic and the horizon. The young Moon being north of the ecliptic also helps.
Some observers may set personal records when spotting the less than a day old Moon to the right of Venus on DEC 22. Others should have no problem the following evening. See my previews above for DEC 22-24.
Also above is a link to a panorama including all Diana’s Bows in 2014. That’s a waxing crescent Moon about 10% illuminated and aged about three days. The name is a reference to the archery equipment of the ancient Roman Goddess of Hunting and the Moon. The graphic nicely illustrates how the season of the year affects the viewing of a waxing crescent Moon.