I love Christmas. It’s by far my favorite holiday. I love twinkling Christmas lights, snow, Santa, and being with my kids. I LOVE Christmas. I like New Year’s Eve. I love any excuse to drink champagne, spend time with friends and family, and fall asleep early (which I inevitably do if there is anywhere I can get comfortable.
But when it comes to New Year’s Day, I pretty much turn into The Grinch. Whenever a new year begins, I usually take a few moments to reflect on where that year has brought me. What changes I made, the progress I’m making. The last few years have brought huge changes to my life. So for the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot to reflect on and have made a lot of progress. However, I’m usually pretty hard on myself – I tend to think that I haven’t accomplished enough.
I’m also not really a New Year’s resolution kind of person. Any resolution I make will likely be broken by the end of the day in which it’s made. Nothing makes me want cheesecake more than a resolution not to eat it. I would be excellent at resolutions if someone else would hold me accountable (here’s hoping my boyfriend follows through on his 30 minute daily walk plan), but telling me I can’t do something is a sure ticket to making sure I run out and do it.
I also hate black eyed peas. Gross. And WHY are they called black-eyed peas? They AREN’T PEAS. They are BEANS. Also, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas is pretty silly for me. One origin of the tradition is from a Jewish text, which also proclaims gourds, leeks, beets and spinach as good luck. Let me tell you what would happen if I haul out black eyed peas, beets, and spinach for dinner in my house. There would be a revolution.
The second origin of the New Year’s black eyed pea tradition is equally inapplicable for me, although historically interesting. Supposedly, as General Sherman made his infamous march to the sea during the Civil War burning or looting anything of value, black eyed pea fields were spared because they were only seen as being suitable for ANIMAL FODDER.
Being the brilliant general that he was, Sherman hit the nail on the head. Leave me with only black eyed peas to eat and I’d surrender too. Of course, that wasn’t the reason the South surrendered, but the point is well taken. ANIMAL FODDER, people.
So in any case, I don’t really observe any rites of passage for the New Year. For me, New Year’s is simply a time of personal reflection, a few months of writing the date wrong on my checks, and the start of a long few months of non-Christmas snow.
So personally, I vote that the Christmas season be extended all the way to Valentine’s Day!
What New Year’s Traditions Do You Follow?
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