Where Will You Be When The Clock Strikes Twelve? New Year Traditions and Resolutions

Where Will You Be When The Clock Strikes Twelve?
New Year Traditions and Resolutions
by Jennifer LB Leese
j.leese@picketnews.com

For many, the New Year means a new year to improve your lifestyle, change jobs, or fix a wrong.
The way we celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is largely in part of our "passed down" family traditions. Some go out to local bars or pubs, some go to friends' houses, some congregate in worship services, some stay home, and some just go to bed. Pork and sauerkraut is a popular New Year's Day meal. According to Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, pork and sauerkraut will bring good luck to you and your family in the year ahead, if it's your first meal of the New Year. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle.
Talking about luck, it was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. If that's true, be careful of who you invite and ask to show up first!
New Year's Eve in the United States is a major social holiday. The top destination for the past three years has been New York, according to hotwire.com, where the giant crystal ball falls in Times Square. The 1,070-pound, 6-foot-diameter Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered, starting at 23:59:00 and reaching the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight (00:00:00). It is sometimes referred to as "the big apple" like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors.
The song Auld Lang Syne is a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve. Auld Lang Syne is an extremely old Scottish song that wa s first written in the 1700s. Robert Burns is the person whose transcription got the most attention, so the song is associated with him. According to HowStuffWorks.com, the words "auld lang syne" in translation means "times gone by." "So (incorporating a couple of other translations) when we sing this song, we are saying, 'We'll drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by.'" (See the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne with this article.).
Bringing in the New Year With Your Children?
Sometimes going to a nightclub, all-night party, or huge adult party isn't fesible for everyone - specially those with children. My husband and I never spend New Year's Eve without our children. Whether they fell asleep or stayed awake to see the "ball drop" they are always with us. It's their New Year too, here's a few ideas on how to make it fun and interesting for celebrating the New Year with your children:
* Grab or make their favorite snack(s) and drinks.
* Party stores have New Year hats and noisemakers just for children. Pick up a few and let them get excited when 2008 comes!
* Picking up champagne for the New Year toast is important, it's just as important for children. Get them a kid-friendly drink or sparkling juice to drink to the toast with.
Where you'll be during on New Year's Eve, traditions and how it began, and what we're actually saying when we sing Auld Lang Syne is fun to learn, but who can forget the almighty resolutions? We all have them. Some popular resolutions include:
1. To lose weight. This has got to be the biggest resolution every single year. I'm happy to say this year for my family and I means going to a dietician. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies. Set reasonable goals, stay focused, and tell yourself this year is the year to shed those extra pounds.
2. To make more money this year than last.
3. To be more positive and have a better outlook on life. Sometimes it's easier just to say, 'whatever' or 'forget it'. I, on the other hand, find that it's easier to be positive. Granted there are many people who lead hectic, stressful lifestyles, but this resolution will help you in the years to come as a) you'll feel better health-wise, b) you may gain more friends, c) you will be happier.
4. To spend more time with family and friends. Spending time with friends and family doesn't sound that hard, does it? Well for many it is. Our busy lives keep us going. Set aside one day a week to call up your close family members and friends and another day (once a month works well) to get together with them in person.
5. Finally quit smoking. Even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down - 2008 may be your year. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Family and friend support helps a lot. Tell them what you plan to do, set a goal for yourself, and just do it!
6. Quit Drinking. "While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available."
Here's a few "unique" resolutions you may want to adopt:
1. Stop spending so much. Get out of debt. This is something my husband and I have been saying for the past 17 years. Last year we actually did it! It took a while and a budget plan, but it was obtainable. This resolution is a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year(s) ahead.
2. Learn something new and pass it on to others. Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find that this resolution to be one of the easiest, most motivating ones to keep. Passing on your "new found education" to others will also resolve another resolution #3).
3. Help those less fortunate/Help others. A popular, non-selfish New Year's resolution, is helping others or volunteering. You can start by offering your time to read to a classroom full of children, visit the elderly, mentoring a child, or building a house with Habitat for Humanity. Search the Internet or phone book for places to help out.
4. Get organized. This resolution is a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized to the effects that you can now invite guests over, or want/need a major makeover, this is a great promise to yourself.
Whether you're sleeping and dreaming of the New Year, partying with wine and champagne at a local nightclub, having a small get-together with family and friends, or just hanging out with your significant other (with or without children) everyone rings in the New Year in a way they are happy and content. Welcome the New Year with new goals and new resolutions.

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Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
Chorus:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.
We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.
And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a right good willie-waught,,
For auld lang syne.