I don't have a New Year ritual. Nothing traditional has been handed down. I'm traditional in observing our family's lack of traditions.
I've tried rituals. As a kid we watch Dick Clark and the Apple dropping. - yawn - We set off fireworks, exciting for a few minutes. Becoming an adult, I went out and ate, drank and dance, but that was typical of something done every week in the military so it lacked a feeling of something special being down. I've practiced some pagan stuff, which was interesting but not captivating, and ate 12 grapes at midnight. None of them stick in this jaded me.
The one tradition I probably most enjoy is AO's tradition of being the first. After midnight is struck, everyone runs around to be the first to do things in the New Year, no matter how banal, shouting it out as you achieve it. "First to turn the lights on and off in the New Year!" "First to pee in the New Year" "First to eat a piece of cheese in the New Year!" "First to open the door in the New Year!" My wife and I have adopted that one to our road trips. Driving to California, one will say, "First to see Mount Shasta!" "First to see the ocean!" "First to see the Bay Bridge!" It was sometimes a harder game, with the fog.
When I was with the military, I observed the military's rituals and traditions but they didn't have any guidance about the New Year. Since retiring, I haven't found anything appealing for the New Year. My beer group last met on December 18th and none mentioned any traditions. We have started a new tradition in the beer group of toasting Harold Schlumberg (the retired engineer with a chemical background) at the start of each meeting.
Other than that, I only have rituals with writing and a few things with my cats, which leads me to think that I only develop rituals for things that matter to me. Lacking the celebration and holiday genes, I'm not into celebrations, holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. I try, for my wife's sake, but she, ahem, recognizes my shortage.
I've attempted to create and keep New Year resolutions. The only ones that adhered are about regular exercise, writing, and walking. I've managed to lose weight but I've regained it to the point that I'm a bit ambivalent about that attempt. We've always eaten healthy, as my wife phrased it, so there's no effort to change that, although we sometimes binge on treats too frequently. But I didn't need a New Year to resolve to stop doing that, and did so back in November.
This year's New Year celebration will be more understated than even last year's. My wife is still flu stricken in bed. I'm up and back to work but I'm a little short of a full load. It's been a week since I last walked, exercised or wrote. Haven't enjoyed a Mexican Mocha in a week. Had my first cup of coffee in a week yesterday. Haven't imbibed wine since the 25th, beer since the 21st.
Guess I have some resolutions to address.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com