We make resolutions that we are lucky to keep until the end of the week, and we reflect on the year past while making dreams and plans for the coming year.  Every December the 31st, the majority of us go through a series of reflections – what worked, what didn’t work, and what we can change for the next year.  In reality, it’s just another day marked by a solar rotation, but what makes it special to us, other than being another excuse to celebrate something?

For me, I have two traditions for the New Year holiday.  Superstitions, perhaps.

The first takes place on the eve of the new year.  I have the belief that if I spend this day making time to do the things I hope to find the most value in within the next year, they will “stick” better.  Ringing in the new year right, right?  As such, I spent yesterday making my daughter hairbow barrettes I’ve been meaning to do, I added to my purge boxes in the basement, cooked a crock pot dinner, played and read extensively to my daughter, and we invited a couple friends over.  Largely, I want to make a point to create, completely purge unneeded items from my family’s life to gain simplicity, make clean meals for my family, and enjoy actual relationships.  I am a slave to a to-do list and find it hard to step back and do “fun” things to keep my sanity.  However, why can’t I add some of these things to my to-do list?  Sneaky, right?  I usually fill my New Year’s Eve with a lot, trying to decide what things I want to find the most value in, while also trying to not drag as many things as possible that I’ve been “meaning to do” into yet another year

The other thing I do is throw open the windows and doors for a couple of minutes on New Year’s Day in our home.  In many cultures, doing this at midnight especially helps the old year leave while the new, fresh year feels invited in.  Living in Minnesota where the house has been shut up for several months already, the quick burst of brisk air actually feels great.  This year, we moved into a 126 year old home with very drafty windows, which I covered with plastic and quilts, so I left the two doors at either side of the house open for a few minutes (we can hear the plastic crinkle from the wind on occasion, that’s how drafty they are, and it’s a gift to be in a warm home with just a little added work!).  We were all sick over Christmas too, so it really just felt like we were letting the junk out and asking the new and fresh to come in.  On New Year’s Day, I try not to do anything large…there are also several cultures who believe that one shouldn’t work, at least not hard, on New Year’s Day, or it starts the year stressed out.  This is the day of the year that I really try to make a point of leisure by spending time with my family, reading, or doing a hobby…and maybe just one load of dishes.
What about you?  Do you have any New Year traditions?  Where did they start from?

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