7 Meaningful Ways to Ring in the New Year

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2014 is on its way out—can you believe it? Like many people, as 2015 approaches you’re probably feeling ready to kiss 2014 goodbye. From resolution-setting to countdowns to midnight kisses, there are so many amazing and symbolic ways to ring in the new year. In addition to all the fun old standards, we’ve put together a list of 7 meaningful ways to welcome in the New Year.

  1. Make One Big Goal
    Instead of a writing out a laundry list of resolutions that is liable to be forgotten or abandoned by February, choose one major milestone, goal, or resolution that holds the most meaning for you—whether it’s getting your business off the ground, letting go of a big event from the past, or getting healthy—and commit to it. If you have more hopes and dreams for the new year you want to express, write them down, but don’t put the same weight of a resolution behind them. Focusing on a single goal allows you to take a big step you’ve always wanted to take in 2015 instead of a few tiny ones.
  1. Eat Collard Greens & Cornbread
    Some southerners traditionally cook up collard greens and cornbread to eat on New Year’s to invite financial abundance. Collard greens (or any greens) represent money, being green, and each bite is said to be worth $1000 in your pocket in the coming year. Corn bread is a soul food that represents pocket or spending money when eaten on New Year’s because its gold color represents gold or coin money.
  1. Photo Review
    Even if you only choose one photo from each month in 2014, taking a look at the past year in images is a great way to mentally “complete” the narrative of the last 12 months and find closure with 2014 so that you can start fresh in 2015. If you’re ambitious and so inclined, sketch out or find 12 images for each month of 2015 that represent changes or milestones you’d like to see happen.
  1. Running with Luggage
    Costa Ricans customarily ring in the new year by running across the street with luggage in their arms to invite new travels and adventures into their lives for the coming year. If you’re hoping to broaden your horizons in 2015, this is a great one to try!
  1. Meditate
    Still whirling from the 2014 holidays and unsure what you want 2015 to look like? Spend a few minutes around the stroke of midnight on Jan 1—or later in the morning as the sun rises—in silent contemplation. Even if you don’t get a clear image of what your goals should be in the coming year, you’ll give your subconscious mind time to review the past 12 months and plant some seedlings of ideas for how the next 12 might unfold bigger and better.
  1. Eat 12 Grapes for Each Month
    Spaniards ring in the new year by eating one grape for each of the 12 chimes of the clock at midnight while making a wish. The tradition dates back to 1865 and is said to bring good luck and fulfilled wishes.
  1. Clean
    While spring is typically the time of year that most people do a deep clean of their home (“spring cleaning”) because spring is symbolic of new life, the New Year’s represents the perfect time to do a major overhaul and cleanup. Deep cleaning your house and going through old clothes, belongings, the pantry, etc. is a great symbolic way to throw out the old and bring in the new. Besides, who doesn’t feel refreshed after a day or two of scrubbing and organizing? If you’re feeling really inspired, rearrange some furniture or refresh old curtains and furnishings, too.

Do you have a meaningful New Year’s Eve tradition that you celebrate? How do you wave good-bye to the old year and ring in the new one?

8 Ways to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

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The holiday season is in full swing! If you haven’t adopted a cheerful temperament yet and are still mumbling “bah humbug” under your breath every time Feliz Navidad comes on the radio, never fear! These 8 ways to get into the holiday spirit will have you grinning and wishing passersby well in no time. Most of the activities on our list are great for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Enjoy!

  1. Decorate
    Nothing quite gets the whole family into the spirit of the season like decorating for the holidays! If your family celebrates Christmas, picking out a tree together is a great activity. Make the trimming a whole-family event complete with Christmas music, hot cocoa, and cookies.
  1. Bake Cookies
    Who doesn’t like cookies around the holidays? Baking and decorating cookies is an activity that kids and adults alike can enjoy, and the best part is that cookies aren’t exclusive to any particular holiday—you can bake them all season long! Gingerbread houses are tons of fun, too.
  1. Attend a Religious Service
    Whatever your family’s background, attending a service together celebrating your winter holiday is the perfect way to connect right to the true spirit of the season.
  1. Family Story Time
    Whether you’re attending a winter folklore story afternoon at the local library or reading books together by the fire, now is the perfect time to pull out the Hannukah stories, Christmas and Kwaanza books, and winter folk tale stories.
  1. Neighborhood Lights Tour
    Nothing cheers the spirit like a sparkling holiday light display. If you live somewhere snowy, this activity will be extra magical! Many local newspapers list the best neighborhoods to view lights so you can get the full Clark Griswold experience.
  1. Get in the Giving Spirit
    Nearly every religious tradition’s winter holiday involved generosity of spirit and/or a tradition of exchanging gifts. As Scrooge learned in A Christmas Carol, generosity connects us to our hearts and brings joy year round if we choose to live in a giving way. Whether you choose to give time or money to charity, buy or make gifts for friends and family, or simply embody a manner of kindness, giving feels great.
  1. Host Friends
    Despite the hustle and bustle the season brings, none of the dozens of items on our to-do lists would matter without good friends and family in our life. Take time to host friends and family through a cookie exchange, latke cooking, game night, white elephant gift party, potluck dinner, or traditional holiday party.
  1. Write Holiday Cards
    Even if your list of who to purchase presents for is short, there’s no limit to how many people in your life you can send a card or write a short email or note to in order to express your appreciation of them and tidings of joy. If you’re sending out cards, many sites like Zazzle offer deep discounts on paper holiday cards during December, and sites like Jib Jab allow you to create hilarious e-cards to be passed around online.

Whatever your holiday tradition and whomever you celebrate with this season, we wish you the very best! Happy holidays from Worldwide Ticketcraft!