I’m sure y’all will be shocked to learn that I’m not one to get hung up on tradition. I’ve already taken down the tree, packed up the Christmas crap, and returned the house to normal. This is a new record for me; usually I do it on New Year’s Day. But the way the holiday fell this year gave me an extra weekend to clean up and I am overjoyed to have everything back to normal before New Year’s Eve. You know what? Christmas is messy and a lot of work and involves turning my home inside out for a month and I hate it. Also, you people who keep your tree and lights up until Valentine’s Day? Just, no. Seriously, get a new hobby.
I’ve heard some pretty crazy New Year’s superstitions, like how you aren’t supposed to take anything out of the house on New Years Day because you might do without it in the coming year. Or how you’re not supposed to do laundry on New Years Day, as you could wash away the life of a loved one. Okay, who thinks that last one was invented by some overworked housewife who just wanted a day off?
The New Year is filled with lots of weird traditions too, and I don’t mean the “getting drunk and passing out in Times Square” kind, either. Someone told me that at midnight you’re supposed to open the back door to let the old year out and the front door to let the new year in. I think if we did that we’d spend the rest of the night herding cats back into the house. Also, I’ve heard of this thing where you put money outside the front door before the year goes out, then bring it back inside when the New Year arrives — all without crossing the threshold.
I do have one thing I do every New Year’s Eve. I’ve written about my New Year’s Eve burn list here before; that’s where I make a list of all the things I don’t want to take into the new year, then go outside and burn it. And people, it works! Last year I put the Tea Party and Sarah Palin on the list and look what happened. I rest my case.
I haven’t really devoted much thought to my list this year but we’ve got lots of candidates for burning. There are some Tennessee Republicans whose names will make the list this year for sure. Also probably the NRA, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and climate change deniers. Those last two are on the list every year, by the way. Some funk is just too nasty to burn off all in one year.
New Year’s Day has a lot of food traditions. In the South you’re supposed to eat black-eyed peas cooked with ham and collard greens; I think it’s supposed to symbolize good luck, love and money or some such. People, I have tried this tradition and I just can’t do it, I just don’t like the dish. Southern food and I do not get along, too bland, too starchy, too salty, too fatty. So Mr. Beale and I are going to start a new tradition. We’re making margaritas and tacos tomorrow. The green stuff can symbolize money, the golden taco shells and cheddar cheese can be good luck, the meat and tomatoes can be romance, and the onion can be excitement or something. Why the hell not?
So, I would love to hear what your New Year’s Eve traditions/superstitions are. What’s on the agenda for tonight?