New Year’s Eve traditions vary with each family, with each person, though making New Year’s resolutions and lighting fireworks are undeniably the most common among them.
Some eat to beyond their stomachs’ content, stuffing themselves with pies and cakes and hams and steaks and whatever there is on the table, rewarding themselves with the gift of food and wine after all their hard work for the year (there’s nothing wrong about wanting to live like a god or a goddess once in a year, so don’t worry, I’m not judging you). Some spend New Year’s Eve in the company of family and friends as they host a mini get-together in their homes while some others party the end of the year away in clubs and bars, getting a shot (or shots) of every alcoholic drink available on the menu or whatever the bartender can offer. Some share a kiss with their special someone as the ball in Times Square drop to welcome the New Year while some others scream and jump to the sound of the clock striking midnight. Some update their Facebook statuses and tweet away with greetings of “Happy New Year” while some others click on the ‘send’ button on their phones to send their greetings to beloved family members, friends, and colleagues as soon as 11:59 turns into 12:00.
One event, various ways of celebrating it. Sometimes, you’ve just got to love how this world can be diverse and unified at the same time. Well, the important thing is, we’re all happy – at least for a moment or two – for something that we all share together. It’s great to know that there is still something that we, despite all our differences and despite all the circumstances, share in the same spirit. And that, among many other things, is something I think we should all be grateful for and should draw inspiration from – inspiration for unity, peace, love, and hope.
This New Year, smile – laugh if you will – for all the good, ridiculous, crazy, wild, and unexpectedly beautiful things that have occurred to you. While there may be admittedly certain dismal or unfortunate events, please do yourself a favor and don’t wallow in depression as the year ends and a new year begins. We all have had our share of gloom and of joy this year, but as we go from an end to another beginning, let us welcome the transition with a positive vibe.
Smile. Laugh. Thank the people who have helped you get through the year. Pat yourself at the back for getting through another year; for being braver, bolder, and better.
Scream. Run around your house. Eat, drink, and just be merry.
And don’t forget to do that New Year’s tradition of yours, whatever it may be – jotting down your New Year’s resolutions, drinking five cups of wine, throwing confetti in the air, jumping as high as you can when the clock strikes 12, creating a design with your sparklers. Getting through New Year isn’t as fun and meaningful if you don’t do it. If you don’t have a tradition, then that’s fine as well. I think having no New Year tradition can be considered a tradition too.
As for me, I do a couple of New Year traditions of my own. Like many of you, I eat a lot (more than what my health meter will allow, but whatever); watch the ball in Times Square drop (thanks to CNN); stay up all night and as midnight arrives, I jump until I almost put a hole in our roof; list down all the things that I’ve done in the past year (as many as I can remember), smiling as I go; and text all my friends and family a little before midnight (because the phone lines get all jammed and busy at midnight and I want to make sure they get my greeting before that happens); and send that “Happy New Year everyone” status via Facebook and Twitter. But no, I don’t light fireworks because our neighbors are rich enough to put that fireworks display for everyone in this part of the town. And no, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions either, because when I was 11, I realized that I tend to break it the day after New Year’s Day.
But here’s one thing that I do every New Year’s Eve, when the last second of the year ticks away: I make a wish upon the multitude of fireworks in the sky. I watch the sparkles and the glow of the various fireworks display that paint the dark sky and smile as their magic fills the smoky and cold air of the holiday season.
The colors, the glitter, the art and beauty that enliven the otherwise dark and gloomy sky – what better setting is there for one to make a wish? And as I watch them fire into the night sky, forming shapes and leaving colorful trails, I just know that there is definitely something special and something enchanting about the fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. And while the magic is there to hold and last, I make a wish upon them, hoping that they’ll carry my wish, along with the other wishes of the world that night, in its vibrant dance as it charms the heavens, as it showers the world with joy and awe, as it works its spells to make us believe for a moment that our dreams and wishes are but a blink away from reality.
I make a wish upon the fireworks, like a kid making his wish on a birthday candle for the first time, like a first-time visitor to Rome making a wish upon the Trevi Fountain. Whimsical it may be, but the act gives me enough hope and joy to begin a new year, to look forward to what the days of the following year may bring me.
With all the lights, the parties, the food, and the celebrations around the world, New Year’s Eve is one magical and spectacular event. But, it is the traditions that we do that makes it all the more magical… and more meaningful. Whatever you choose to do this New Year’s Eve – wishing upon fireworks or not – I hope you have fun and make the event a momentous one, for you and for your loved ones. And may you begin the year 2013 with a kind heart, an open mind, a courageous spirit, and a hopeful disposition.
Have a Happy New Year everyone!