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Friday, December 30, 2016

Preparing for a new year

Do any of you have any superstitions surrounding the arrival of a new year?

My mother never fails to warn me to get our laundry caught up. My grandmother always said that washing clothes on New Year's day would "wash away" a member of the family. I know it's nonsense, but who wants to tempt fate over something like that?

Grandma, my mom, my baby cousin, and me circa 1993. I was 18 years old.


Grandma always insisted on "Hoppin' John" and greens for dinner on New Years Day. The black eyed peas were for luck, and the greens for money. I had neither on New Years Day this year. No wonder I've been unlucky and broke! I'm buying black eye peas today to put on to soak tomorrow, and I saved the bone from our Christmas ham to cook with them. I have cooked collard greens in the freezer ready to be reheated. My mom made some for the meal we had together right before Christmas and I brought some home in freezer cups for later. (Gregg won't touch collard greens, so I rarely bother to cook them for just myself. He'll have to have green beans for the "money" portion of our meal on Sunday.)

Today I'll be giving our house a thorough cleaning in addition to doing laundry. I like the idea of starting a new year with a clean house. A work friend who grew up in the same little town as me (we went to high school together) told me that her family always puts a dollar bill under the front door mat on New Year's Eve to bring money in the new year. I had never heard of that, but I may do it! What could it hurt, right? Honestly, I want a new job in 2017....maybe I should put a copy of my resume under the mat along with the dollar!!!

Anyone here have traditions for welcoming a new year and bringing luck that you'd like to share?


16 comments:

  1. Happy new year Jennifer and may your all wishes come true. Sorry that i don't have any thing to add about the new year,I shall wait to the other to comment so i can also learn something:)

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    1. Happy New Year dear Yael! I was just thinking about you this morning. I hope 2017 is a good one for you!

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    2. Thank you so much Jennifer.

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  2. A beautiful family in the phto.

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    1. Thank you. It makes me a little sad. I was very, very close to that grandmother. She passed away a year or two later. Despite all the years that have gone by, I still miss her.

      The baby in that photo, my cousin's daughter, is now in her mid 20's and expecting her second child. How time flies!

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  3. I love your New Years traditions and the greens and beans for luck and money. Your resume under the door mat, hey, I like that idea. Your family members are beautiful in the photo.

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  4. What a lovely photo of your family! You look petite and very beautiful.

    This has nothing do with good luck but something my husband and I started when we just got married, with very little money but plenty of dreams: on the eve of 31st December, we sit down and write our projects, wishes, dreams etc, on a sheet of paper and then we put it in a closed envelope and only open it on the 31st of the next year! We will open last years one tomorrow night and we see how many of the wishes have come true...sometimes there are silly things written on the sheet, so we laught too.

    Italians eat lenticchie con cotechino (Lentils with a fat pork sausage) lentils symbolise money. Both men and women wear red undewear for good luck. We get rid of old, chipped cups, pots etc, meaning to let go of old sufferings. We take sweet gifts to friends, like figs in honey etc, it is to bring sweetness, kindness and happiness to the person you donate it to.
    Sorry for the long comment, Jennifer, and all the grammatical errors!

    I wish you and Gregg plenty of health, happiness, wealth, and let plenty of kindness come your way in the new year. Happy New Year.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I love your long comment! Pork is a traditional new years food here, too. I like the idea of red underwear, gifts of sweets, and the list in an envelope! Thank you Maria!

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  5. That's a beautiful family photo Jennifer. When I lived in Yorkshire there was an old tradition of ‘first footing’ – the first person to enter your home when the clock strikes 12 will influence the year you're about to have. Ideally, the person to first enter the home should be dark-haired and good-looking and carrying small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt.

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  6. The only one I can think of is to not put up the next year's calendar until the next year arrives. My grandmother used to get up after midnight on NY's Day and change the calendar.

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  7. My only real tradition is to sit on the last day of the year and write out all the "important" dates on my new calendars...that gives you some idea of the level of excitement in our house on New Year's...I know a big Irish tradition (at least in the Philadelphia Irish) used to be to clean the house from top to bottom. The idea was to start the new year with a fresh outlook. I like that tradition.

    So glad I found your blog this year; I always enjoy your writing. Hope you have a nice New Year's!

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  8. What a nice photo! I think every family has these superstitious traditions. My mom says whatever you do on the first day of the year will be an indicator for the remaining days. For example, if your house is dirty, it'll be continuously dirty. If you're angry, you'll constantly be angry. Etc. Kind of forced us to be nice and happy and optimistic...and clean :)

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  9. The first thing I say on any first day of the month is 'white rabbit, white rabbit'. This is especially important on new year's day. Lady Magnon will get her usual dig in the ribs not long after midnight, and say it too. It's worked so far!

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  10. There are many "good luck" traditions and customs surrounding the New Year here in Germany, but I do not personally observe them. I like the "fresh" feel of a new year just as I like the "mini"-New Year feeling I have at the 1st of each month (I think I have blogged about that a few times), but of course the logical Librarian in me knows that our planet has just completed another orbit around the Sun - as it does every day, depending on where you define your starting point.

    We will be eating Fondue at my sister's tonight, drinking champagne, playing a game or two and then watch the fireworks over our hometown from her balcony. Tomorrow "morning" after breakfast (which I suspect won't really be morning, but closer to noon), O.K. and I will be driving down to his home village, where his parents expect us and the immediate family for more champagne and food.

    I like Maria's tradition with her husband, writing down what they expect to do in the year ahead and opening the envelopes the next New Year's Eve!
    Also, I really really hope you'll find that new job of yours, one that suits you in all ways. Maybe you should indeed put your resume under the door mat :-)

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