New Year’s Eve conjures pictures of countdowns with clocks striking midnight, fireworks and corks popping out of champagne bottles. I have spent many a New Year’s Eve with those pictures and sounds, surrounded by family and friends, or one or the other. Lately the night has been quieter. There is still champagne, but the countdown and fireworks are on the television, and I’m often with one or two friends or on my own.
When I was a child, say from seven to nine years old, living in America, my parents would choose to celebrate German New Year’s Eve with me. Just before 6pm my father would uncork the champagne, give me a drop to toast with, and fill my mother’s and his own glass. At 6pm sharp (Germany is six hours ahead of New York) we would clink glasses and wish each other a Happy New Year. Years afterward I realised my parents instigated this celebration in order to get me into bed at my usual bedtime, instead of letting me stay awake until midnight. It was a practice I appreciated more when I had my own children. Unfortunately, by that time I was in Australia and we were almost the first in the world to get to midnight.
In my teenage years New Year’s Eve was a time for gathering with friends, usually at parties, drinking away the old year and welcoming the new. One New Year’s Day my friend and I climbed rather tipsily onto her roof and watched the sun rise. It was an amazing sight and a wonderful way to start a year.
And then there are the New Year’s resolutions. Apparently, we can thank the ancient Babylonians for this tradition. Not only were they probably the first people to celebrate the dawning of a New Year, they also made promises to their gods, usually to be better behaved or pay their debts. These promises can be looked on as the first New Year’s resolutions. The Romans had a similar tradition.
This year I will be babysitting on New Year’s Eve. Hopefully my grandsons, ages 1 and 3, will be in bed and sound asleep a long time before midnight strikes. I, on the other hand, might just have a couple of sips of champagne at the end of the countdown on television, to welcome in 2019.
As for New Year’s resolutions… I am resolving to write more in 2019, to finish the memoir I’ve been working on for the last six years and to keep blogging. I can think of nothing nicer than to position 2019 as the Year of Writing. Apart from that, I’m not making resolutions. I find the more you make, the easier they are to break. Instead, I’m hoping to continue my healthy journey, with more fresh food and exercise, more time with friends and family and time set aside to read and study.
So, here’s to a new year; a new beginning for all of us.
May 2019 bring you everything you need to give you happiness, health, prosperity, friendship and abundance.
Happy New Year!!!