Happy New Year!

I am sucker for New Year. I love it! Everything about it. I am that cliched person who looks forward to the newness of the year ahead. I love the possibilities of beginning again- new beginnings, days ahead, adventures unknown to places remote, friendships, hopes, dreams and all that ish. I love it all.

Even more so, I love my family traditions for the year’s end. Its always a celebration from Christmas day onwards; my grandmother died twenty years ago on the 27th of December, one sister’s birthday is on the 28th, brother on the 30th and lil sister on the 31st so its day after day of good food and pleasantries, a revolving door of well-wishers, faces old and new, constant phone ringing, children running wild high on sugar and adults pretty much adulting. Its especial. As the day winds down to the nth hour, we find ourselves in the parlour, bottles of champagne in buckets of ice, snacks laid out, we crack jokes, swap stories and watch the new year dawn in other countries. At a quarter to mindnight we hold hands and pray. We thank God for the year passed, losses and gains, happiness and sadness, for being together to see the end of another year, and to acknwledge how fortunate we are to see the New Year. We finish praying just after midnight, pop open bottles of champagne, and toast to the new year.

The best part of the night is a tradition that has been observed long before I was born. We open a bottle of whisky or brandy, and pour a cap full outside on our doorstep. We do this in remembrance our ancestors who watch over us, pray for the comings and goings of those who live in the house, and the ones who visit, that fortune favour our journey and safe return. I love this tradition because it reminds me always of the people who were before me, those I never met whose stories I have been told, those I met whose stories never leave me, and those to come whose stories I am a part of. And my dad who passed away last year.

2016, what a year, but we thank God we saw it to the end.

The merriment goes on till about 2am, fireworks blasting outside keeping the children enthralled. In the morning, like this morning, we head to church, yes hungover and all, and when we return home, mom makes a meal of pounded yam and pepper soup, the only thing for a hangover in my opinion, after feasting on such carboloaded goodness for breakfast, we drift off to blissful sleep and wake up much later in the day. Perfection.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year.

May peace start your day,

And your journeys bring good fortune,

May love lead your way,

And your deeds bring glad tidings,

May goodness be upon you and your family,

And may your best day in 2016 be the worst in 2017.

I leave you with one of my favourite songs, most apt for this time of the year. Let us remember old friends. The dearly departed. Good people and good deeds imparted to us. Toast to good health. And a blessed year ahead.

Happy New Year my friends!