6 New Ways to Celebrate the New Year
- Be Thankful
A great way to start off your new year is to realize how fortunate you are. Let that sink in a minute. It is easy to forget, especially during the hectic holiday season, what is important in your life and to focus more on what Santa forgot or you couldn’t provide. Let it go.
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t invited to an acquaintance’s party or if you can’t afford to ski the Alps for New Year’s. The media has a way of distorting the meaningful into the commercial and sometimes it takes a conscious effort to drown out that noise. So many of us spend New Year’s Eve figuring out how to get what we want to attain in the New Year, and not enough time reflecting on what we already have.
If you just can’t seem to shake that Grinchy feeling, volunteer to help someone less fortunate than yourself. There are countless ways to help others, either locally or globally. While donating money is always a generous gift, donating your time to interact with people is a two-fold gift; the help you are giving to the unfortunate person and the reminder you are giving to yourself of how lucky you really are.
- Celebrate New Year’s Day Instead
Although it is an exciting time counting down the seconds until the New Year, it can be overrated. Why not get a good night’s sleep and do something special on the actual first day of the year? Host a “Beginnings Brunch”, plan a memorable outing, or take your resolution list and try to do things throughout the day that will help to accomplish its end goals.
- Enjoy the Scenery
Get out of the house and enjoy nature’s canvas. Literally, take a hike. Marvel at your surroundings and get some exercise while you’re at it. That’s probably on your resolution list anyway, right? Set up camp under the stars and ring in the New Year the way our ancestors did, before all the hoop-la and glitzy festivities. If you can’t get out in the open, shut off everything in the house and “camp” inside.
- Host a “Significance Supper”
Gather your tribe and have a fun fondue or potluck – but with a twist! Steve Carlson, CEO at FoodSmackdown.com, suggests having guests bring a fun “dipper” item that shows their New Year’s resolutions. For example, if a guest’s resolution is to make more money in the coming year, then he or she could bring bread for dipping, with an attached card that reads “Here’s to making more dough.” If the resolution is to be nicer, the guest could bring bite-sized pieces of angel food cake. Get creative!
- And Good Luck to You!
Many countries and ethnicities believe certain things bring good fortune, so use this knowledge to give “good luck” gifts to friends and family for the New Year. Wrapping up clear, glass jars with lentils (Italy) or black-eyed peas (The South) are gifts that would represent financial successes. A bamboo plant signifies luck, and jade is thought to bring prosperity. The goldfish is a symbol of tranquility and longevity, according to Buddhist mythology; and frogs signify prosperity to the Chinese. The people of India believe elephants are a sign of wealth and luck, and oranges and lemons are thought to ward off evil and invite good luck when placed near entrances.