Friday, December 26, 2008

A New Beginning

The end of the old year and beginning of a new year is just a few days away. I don't think many of us could have imagined the changes that have occurred in 2008. These are hard times for everyone, but it is also a time to reflect upon the good things that happened in our lives this year. It is the little things, after all, that are the most important. Just like most, we celebrated the new year with a few traditional superstitions. Mom always said she didn't want to take any chances by not having black-eyed peas for luck. She'd say, 'just imagine how bad things could have been if we skipped the black-eyed peas last year.'

Here are a few traditions, new and old, to try this New Year's Day.

Try Hoppin' John for your New Year's Day meal. This dish includes collard greens, hog jowl, and rice. Click here for the recipe.

Don't wash dishes or clothes on New Year's Day. This tradition is for two reasons. One, you do not want to 'wash away' your luck. Second, whatever you do on the first day of the year, you will do every day. Who wants to spend the whole year cleaning?

If you want to have plenty to eat in the New Year, dine lavishly the first day. The same holds true if you want to eat healthier. There is no time like the present.

Don't let anyone enter your house on New Year's Day empty handed. Encourage visitors to bring something edible.

Wear new clothes on New Year's Day and make sure you have some 'folding' money in your pocket so you won't find them empty in the coming days.

The 'first foot' in your house on New Year's Day should not be a woman, but a man or boy for luck all year.

Traditions and superstitions sometimes go hand in hand. As the New Year approaches, so does a chance for a new beginning. In society, importance is placed on New Year's Eve as the end of the old year is celebrated. In truth, every day is a new beginning. December 31st is just a date after all. Just like a birth date. Do we really need a calendar to tell us we can change today and start over tomorrow? Don't we really make our own luck? When you're making your New Year's Resolutions for 2009, keep this in mind. If you slip here and there, just start over tomorrow. There's no need to give up and wait a year to make a new beginning.

Of course a little luck here and there can't hurt anything.

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