End As You Mean To Go On

There’s so much to do today, so much to do.  Our family has a tradition of starting the New Year with everything as it should be. The house in order, scrubbed and tidy. The laundry caught up. (That one’s a total pipe dream. I just organized the last two loads to go in and then watched Sam take two towels out of the hall closet for her bath. TWO. Luckily I am a mother of some experience so I didn’t strangle her with one of them while screaming something seething with the rage born of decades spent watching my daughters dry all the parts of their bodies with dedicated towels.  I just heaved an inner sigh and knew that it’s always going to be the towels that stand between me and a perfect laundry situation on New Years Eve.) All the bills must be paid, there’s money to in every wallet and purse, and Joe’s made three trips to Goodwill with all of the things that are moving out of here.  My desk is clear, the stash is tidy,  but I’ve still got to dust and vacuum the rest of the house if I’m going into this New Year with everything the way I would like it to be for the year coming up. I’ll be off to the grocery store shortly to buy food for our Levee tomorrow, and stop at the liquor store on the way home for some champagne, we’ll make everything beautiful and ready for the New Year to take up residence in fine style.  I have even finished the Christmas knitting, except for Joe’s socks, but I don’t think that stands in the way of me ending as I mean to go on.  I mean to be knitting him socks for many years to come, so a pair on the needles on this night is a fine place to be. 

Tonight, I’ll sweep up the dust of this year and throw it out the back door, I’ll make sure my First Footer is a handsome, dark haired man bearing salt. I’ll put out silver coins (we use quarters, dimes and nickels – we know they’re not really silver) so the light of the old year and the new year can shine on it. Tomorrow we’ll wash nothing – to make sure that no-one in the family is washed away in the upcoming year – and we won’t throw things away for the same reason.

We’re not superstitious, we’re really not, but these traditions and rituals feel binding, and help us mark the time, and feel like we celebrate the holidays properly.  We like them, and they’re what we do as a family. (I don’t think the kids have ever been grateful that we clean for the New Year – but they do it.)  Our house will be in order tonight – and I hope yours is too, in your own way.  We’ll be ending as we mean to go on, tidy, together, and well sorted, champagne in hand.

Happy New Year.