I think most people have some ritual associated with the holiday whether they realize it or not. Many of us don’t even know why we do them…we just always have.
My wife and I have practiced some silly ritual every year since we have been together I think. The first that I remember was that on New Year’s Day you are supposed to do at least one important activity that you want to make sure you do all year. Later we picked up that one should eat cabbage. Guess what has been included in every New Year’s Day dinner since?
Some years, to insure our happiness and financial prosperity, we put the “pedal to the metal” and go all out. Most years we just sort of bounce around the list.
Before I continue, I want to acknowledge an article from Bellesprit Magazine titled Belle’s New Year’s Stuporsitions. I once interviewed Belle Salisbury on Paranormal Filler and I got the idea to follow the guidelines in the article as closely as possible.
Before New Year’s Eve
The entire house should be clean before New Year’s Day.
This has to do with sweeping all the negative energy out of your home. While it makes sense, in practice the correct procedure is hard to follow in my house. You are supposed to sweep the dirt to the center of the room and then apparently keep it for a few days. We vacuum, but because we live on a farm there is always plenty of fresh dirt laying about. Partial credit.
The New Year must not be seen with bare or empty cupboards.
Easy enough. We usually are stocked up on food going into a holiday weekend (Cheetos in particular). Check.
All debts should be paid before the New Year.
I am not sure how one can get rid of all of their debts for this one. We just try and make sure all the bills that were due are paid. Partial credit.
Make sure any unfinished projects are completed before New Year’s Day.
My entire life is defined by unfinished projects. FAIL
Plant a new plant or tree before New Year’s Day.
We plant trees and stuff all the time. Mother Earth should be happy. Pass.
Make a list of things that you have done during the old year, both good and the bad, and then burn it outside.
Never even attempt this one. Maybe next year.
Place a dollar bill under a new loaf of bread to insure that you have food all year long.
Place a dollar bill under a New Year Calendar to insure that you will have money all year long.
Still pretty easy. We take it a step further and put dollar bills under all of our new calendars (which we never hang until New Year’s Day) and I stick one in my date book just to be safe. Check.
Place change in your left pocket to bring change to you in the New Year.
This means that I have to wear pants. Varies.
The wallets of everyone in the household should be stocked with money to guarantee prosperity.
I hope I do this one right. We take our “bail money” stash (hey, you never know) and put it in my wallet. Unfortunately, this makes my wallet too fat to carry with me so I hope that isn’t an issue. I do usually however tuck it under my pillow for the evening. Check.
Forgive friends and family for any misunderstandings and disagreements they may have had that year so they can make a clean start of the New Year.
The Japanese ring bells 108 times on December 31st to chase away 108 troubles.
Sounded tedious. Fail.
To keep out evil spirits and misfortune hang a rope of straw across the front of your home.
Being a farmer I do have access to straw. However, being me, I do not have the patience to make a rope from it. Fail.
On the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve every door in the house, and even the windows, should be opened to allow the old year to go out unimpeded.
Technically we never open every door. There were only two of us. And no, I did not open the windows. It is usually cold and this old farmhouse costs enough to heat without airing it out during a winter night. Incomplete.
We kiss those dearest to us at midnight to share a moment of celebration with others but also to insure that those affections and ties will continue throughout the next 12 months.
Check (when we are awake.
Make as much noise as possible at midnight. You are not just celebrating; you are scaring away evil spirits.
I always want to fire off a few rounds in the air from the .38. Anita never lets me so we just laugh really loud when we open the doors. Pass.
When the New Year begins laugh as loud and hardy as you can! This is believed to bring good luck in the New Year.
See previous. Check.
New Year’s Day
Nothing is to leave the house of the first day of the year.
We make every effort to keep everything in the house with one exception: We usually plant our Christmas tree on New Year’s Day. We always get a live tree and plant it in the yard. Planting our Christmas tree instead of throwing one way should be a great gesture to the earth. Better Pass.
Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky words.
Probably @#$&ed that one up. Fail.
Anything in the shape of a circle is good luck because it symbolizes coming ‘full circle’ completing a year’s cycle.
Powdered Donettes for breakfast? I don’t mind if I do. Check.
The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity.
Pork chops for dinner? Not a problem. Check.
Eat collard greens or cabbage for money in the New Year.
We usually substitute spinach and cole slaw. Work with me a little, universe. Check.
Eat black-eyed peas to bring luck in the New Year.
That was a really good dinner. Check.
Do not use knives or scissors on New Year’s Day as this may cut away your fortune.
I hope that I get a pass for using a knife to cut the pork chops. There was gravy involved. To be determined.
On New Year’s Day you are not to wash your hair because it would mean you would have washed away good luck for the New Year.
I probably won’t take a bath either. It’s my day off. Don’t judge me. Check.
Do not do laundry on New Year’s Day as to do so would be to wash away your good fortune.
It is surprising easy to talk Anita into following this one. Check.
Do not pay loans or loan out any precious goods on New Year’s Day.
Not a problem. Check.
Above all else, remember, whatever you do on New Year’s Day, you will be doing all year long!
And that’s why I am here and you have this to read. Check.
Happy New Year, everyone