2015-12-30 / Editorials

Making Each New Year Better

The celebration of a New Year seems to be nearly universal among all peoples, even though they do not all occur at the same time.

The New Year is an arbitrary mark on the calendar, which is cyclical. The months and seasons follow each other in an orderly and mostly predictable progression. But the various traditions mark a day to start another year every 12 months approximately, with a brand-new start to point us in the right direction. To help us take stock and refresh our paths, most traditions dictate that everything should be sparkling clean and new, where possible. This helps to impress upon us the quality of newness. Another main feature in most cultures is for families and friends to get together and feast, and patch up old grievances, in the hopes that the new year will be one of peace and abundance. When families cannot physically visit, they will most definitely call to cross that bridge into the future together. Just ask the phone company – New Year’s Eve in the US has always been the busiest time of the year for phone service, and it is the only time of year one must actually wait for a call to go through.

Many world cultures include rituals thought to bring good luck in the various aspects of life for the coming year. An interesting angle that symbolizes the cycle of the calendar, but in three dimensions representing fullness and abundance is the Filipino tradition of gathering 12 round fruits, one for each month of the year, preferably all different varieties. Similarly, in Spain, 12 grapes are put in bowls for each member to eat at midnight, for sweetness throughout the coming year. Among the Chinese and Filipino people, sweeping the house before the New Year is thought to get rid of any lingering bad luck. Conversely, opening windows, drawers and cupboards at the approach of the New Year bids good luck to enter. Hindus leave food and sweets at their decorated home entrances for Laxmi, the goddess of plenty, to entice her to enter. Interestingly, Hindus also traditionally resolve to abolish laziness, work hard and prosper in the New Year, and they thank the various gods and goddesses for their blessings. These goals of activity and gratitude seem to us like good values to emphasize.

As we close out the year, we take stock on our lives, what has passed, what we have accomplished or survived, and what direction we would like to steer our efforts toward in the next year. Philosophically, we also feel life is all about the journey, not so much the destination. Things may not always go our way, but it is all about learning. What do you take home from your experiences? Are you being your best self? Maybe life deals us difficult blows at times, which we may feel we did not deserve. But we can always learn to be more compassionate and become more conscious of how deeply we care about our families, work, organizations, or any other goals and values. Sometimes we just need to learn responsibility. We cannot have Saturday without first taking care of the business of Monday (through Friday).

Simply put, we wish everyone, and ourselves a “Happy New Year.” As we mature, we define happiness differently. When we are young, we think certain things we want, but which may be out of our control, would make us happy. After a while, we accept that we simply cannot have everything we desire. We learn to derive satisfaction from those things which we ourselves can bring about. As for the common resolutions to diet and exercise, we feel it is not all about losing weight. Our lives are precious and have a purpose, whether we are looking good or not, so renewing efforts to build healthful habits are worthy.

So look ahead, for the past is past, and make the most of every day. Remember, but do not dwell in the past. Take a lesson from events and actions and apply it as far as it is in your power to do so.

We wish you all growth and good memories from this old year, and good luck, health, opportunities, and loving relationships in the New Year.

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2018 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.