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Happy New Year — Now . . . eat your peas

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Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 10:28 am

Traditions - those things we do on a regular basis in order to bring us comfort and joy - are different for every culture, region . . . all the way to the family or singular person. We all have them, as minor or untraditional as we may think.

I don't have many. But one of the ones I adopted as an adult, along with my husband, was to have black eyed peas on New Years Day. It's a southern tradition, I believe, and it's supposed to bring luck or prosperity or something. We figure it couldn't hurt.

But, after a particularly challenging year, my husband said he didn't think it was working. I told him that you never know, it could have been worse. The black eyed peas may have saved us from certain tragedy.

So I did a quick search on the knower of all things - the internet - and Snopes.com had some very compelling traditions listed for the beginning of the year. Things I didn't know about. But it wouldn't hurt to pass this along ... just in case:

Kissing at midnight: This is a good one. Smooch on your nearest and dearest to ensure affection throughout the rest of the year. Failure = coldness. No thanks.

Stocking Up: No bare cupboards. Top off your larders [first, get some larders] and have plenty of money in your wallet to guarantee prosperity. (Who has plenty of money after the holidays?) Good luck with this one.

Paying Off Bills: Don't start the year in debt. (See above — good luck.)

Now here's a fun one — First Footing: The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight will influence the year you're about to have. Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking. And if he brought gifts, all the better.

There's more that the first footer should do and be. But what the first footer should NOT be is a woman, especially a blond or red-haired woman. That's just bad luck. They are to be shooed away with a gun aimed at their heads. Also, the first-footer must not be cross-eyed, have flat feet, or eyebrows that meet in the middle.

I don't make the rules ... just passing along information.

And now, moving from traditions to Superstitions:

Wear new clothes on New Years Day to ensure more new clothes during the rest of the year.

Don't lend money or any precious items on New Years Day else you'll be shelling out cash all year long.

Don't break anything or you're just setting yourself up to break things all year. Same with crying.

But - Make lots of loud noises at midnight to scare away evil spirits. They hate loud noises. So bang some pots and pans together or something.

And while you're making noise that isn't crying, keeping all your money, not breaking anything, waiting for a handsome visitor and shooing away redheads - take the time to Let the Old Year Out: Yep, open up all the doors and let the old year escape. Make sure it's before midnight so the New Year can come in.

Me? I'm going to have some Hoppin' John and watch movies all day with my redhead best friend. Hopefully someone will let us in the door.

Here's wishing you more happiness

Than all my words can tell,

Not just alone for New Years Eve

But for all the year as well.

Happy 2011.