Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Traditions of New Year’s

This is a great time of year for reflection and contemplation – reflection on the year in closing, and thoughtful anticipation of the New Year. It's a time for counting your blessings, and making plans for a brighter tomorrow. A time steeped in tradition.

What are some of those traditions? It is tradition for many to spend New Year's Eve in celebration. In New England, revelers partake in First Night Fests that include parades, music, and cultural activities. Everyone knows of the ball drop in New York City. In the Houston suburbs, celebrants bring in the New Year with booming fireworks displays.

For others, the tradition falls mainly on New Year's Day itself. Superstitions abound, and many folks, self-included, feel New Year's Day sets the stage for the incoming year (see my post from last year here). There are traditional foods shared both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, some believed to bring about good luck or good fortune.

Probably the most well known tradition is that of making New Year's resolutions. Almost everyone has made resolutions at some point or another. The desire to make the incoming year better than the one ending is powerful, and people resolve to change many things. To eat better, lose weight, exercise more, spend less, save more, etc. Typically, the resolve is strong in the beginning, but tends to wane over time. That is why you will see a surge of activity at the health club come January, but it fairly quickly dies down.

One way to make your resolve passionate and help you to keep that resolution is to write it down and post it prominently. Not just where you can see it every day, but where the rest of your family can as well, maybe even friends.

In keeping with tradition, I have made a few writerly resolutions that I would like to post here and share. I give everyone full permission to frequently remind me of these resolutions, check in and ask how I'm doing, and otherwise keep me honest and working towards them. I also invite you to share your resolutions, and feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

Sheryl's 2009 Resolutions and Goals

  • Rewrite and edit my NaNoWriMo novel into a finished manuscript.
  • Once finished with the novel, query agents.
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo again next November.
  • Post a minimum of one short story each quarter on my blog.

Signing off for 2008, I wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!


Dave Persails said...

Happy New Year! Ya know, Sheryl, I've always wondered about the so-called New Year's tradition down here in Texas for fireworks. The NY Times says this: "In many cultures, fireworks are a symbol of light in the new year. While they are restricted the rest of the year in Iceland, on New Year's Eve anyone and everyone can light the explosives."

Iceland is a long way from Texas.

I'm not one for resolutions (everyday I resolve something, actually), but the aforementioned newspaper does have an interesting slideshow of New Years traditions from around the world that you and your readers may care to see.

Sheryl Tuttle said...

Dave - Happy New Year to you! Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the New Years traditions slideshow. Where in the world do you find these things? -Sheryl