HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now that we’re about to embark on a New Year, it’s time to take stock of all those resolutions we’re sure to make when we’re a little tipsy and we picture that weary, whiskered Old Man Time slipping into obscurity and we look forward to starting life anew.
Many of us even go so far as to make resolutions that we hope will correct some faults or bad habits we might, pray tell, admit to having. And while it may be easy to make a few resolutions or even admit to having a few faults – after all, no one’s perfect – it does take a lot of self-determination to take the bull by the horns and keep those well-intended (but not always well thought out) resolutions. Especially if you’re hung over from your New Year’s Eve party and the two heads you’re wearing won’t stop spinning long enough to help you remember that this time last year you vowed never to indulge in such good spirited fun again.
It’s no coincidence that January was thus named. The Romans obviously gave it a lot of thought when they named this month in honor of their sun god, Janus. In Roman mythology, this two-faced god looked in opposite directions. Much like we do each New Year’s Day after a night out on the town. Janus had one face that looked into the past and another that looked into the future. Thus, to the Romans, he symbolized a god of new beginnings.
In time, the custom of searching for new beginnings spread to other parts of the world. In England, people cleaned their chimneys on New Year’s Day believing that it would bring them good luck during the coming year. It was their way of “cleaning the slate.” Of course, if you don’t have a chimney to clean on New Year’s Day, you could always clean out your garage.
The ancient Persians gave eggs to their friends on New Year’s Day. Since eggs hatch into life, this custom meant much the same thing as “turning over a new leaf.” At our house on New Year’s Day, “turning over a new leaf," means stirring the Bloody Marys with a celery stalk.
If you feel a little foolish about giving your friends an egg or two, you could introduce them to a few new chicks. Or you could offer them raw egg toddies with which to soothe their New Year’s hangovers.
I haven’t given much thought to my resolutions for the New Year, but I’m hoping I’ll keep them better than I have in the past. More than once I’ve made a resolution to go on a diet, and I have to admit that every diet I tried not only made me a better person, it also made me a bigger one as well. I think it has to do with the see-food-will-eat syndrome I’ve developed over a lifetime. But this New Year, I’m firmly determined that history won’t repeat itself, and I’ll finally get rid of all this “baby fat” I’ve acquired in my second childhood.
Some helpful hints to keeping some age old resolutions: Stop complaining when your husband comes home late for dinner – just stop cooking. And don’t get upset when the old man spends entire weekends glued to the television set watching football – either give the TV to the Salvation Army or don’t pay the electric bill.
Your children can also be the benefactors of your New Year resolutions. Stop nagging them to clean their rooms – simply give them a year’s supply of Raid. And if they continually break curfew, either lock the doors and throw the keys away or just move and don’t tell them.
And, If all else fails, move to Rome where being two-faced is looked upon with honor.
ESCONDIDO: From my good friend Shirley comes this interesting information about a Web site where you can find out what was happening the year you or someone you know was born. Simply go to infoplease.com and click on the year you’re interested in to read the news for that year. Example: For the year 2006, log on to https://www.infoplease.com/year/2006.html. Use the same URL information and substitute the year you’re interested in reading about between 1900 and 2006.
NEXT POST: Look for the next one in 2009, a year that I hope brings everyone many, many blessings and lots of Happy Days! Stay tuned.