Happy

Happy New Year!

I’ve previously mentioned the Christmas Eve bayberry mojo.

And now, here is the New Year’s Eve mojo tradition. A quick internet check shows nothing about my family’s traditional NY Eve mojo. My guess is that it is a mix of PA Dutch and Scottish tradition, or just something that got started long ago by no specific ethnicity and just got handed down until its precise origins were lost.

At any rate, my family’s tradition: in a small bag – I use a sandwich bag because that’s what my parents used, probably something nicer like a cloth bag would be looked on kindly by the gods, or maybe the humble nature of the sandwich bag is some kind of positive statement in and of itself – one per each member of the household – no “one bag is good enough for all” stuff here, everyone must have their own – place:

  • A penny or some humble coin if your monetary system has no penny. “So that you may always have enough money.”
  • A piece of coal. “So that your home may be always warm.”
  • A bit of flour wrapped in paper. “So you may always have food.”

Why is the flour wrapped in paper? So it doesn’t get all messy in the bag, silly. My family’s traditional flour wrap has been a piece of paper towel, again, not particularly pretty, but humble and certainly serviceable.

Once these items are gathered in the bag, it is hung on the front door of your house (or apartment) to welcome in the New Year’s s(S)pirit. This is to be done on New Year’s Eve and must hang there until the morning of New Year’s Day.

And, like the bayberry candle that burns though Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, I understand that this is superstition. But neither the candle nor the NYE bag has let me down thus far and so, I’ll repeat, I’m not messin’ with the mojo.

And they pile on, I have acquiesced, adopted and even grown used to, Jamie’s family’s, “the Christmas tree must be taken down before New Year’s Day”, and he’s happy to have our ratty New Year’s bags hanging on the doorknob for the neighbors to wonder about.

I guess life is so dramatically random that even in this “advanced” modern age, sometimes it feels good and necessary to fall back on a little tradition, a little “magic”.

Have a safe and happy New Year!
k.

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3 Responses to “Happy”

  1. Nice tradition…. I was thinking, … we do all this celebration to understand and burn in our brain that a new year has started. It’s like pressing the ‘reset’ button of the computer, it doesn’t turns off but it starts from zero, fresh.
    And we all start with optimistic wishes, we all want this year to be better than previous ones, success, happiness…
    So happy new year, and enjoy the new 366 oportunities this year brings to you!!

  2. That’s right, we get an extra opportunity this year because it’s leap year! Happy New Year, Zim.

  3. Happy New Year guys, may the penny, the coal and the flour always be present this year to come.

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