I’ve notice that many communities have different styles for their year end celebrations and that festivities and traditions vary. For example, one new year,

I was apprehended by the police moments after I emptied out my automatic shotgun into the silent night and was explained that, no, they didn’t celebrate New Year’s that way and please could you put your gun away? Okay, I grumble. Geez, what happened to shooting off the chimney like we did in the old days?

Where I came from, we were treated to the annual sight of the Grey Nuns, who were driven around on the oldest vehicle in the known world around town, where their giggles were punctuated with shivers in the minus-30 temperature. Usually, candy was thrown from the highest building and the RC Mission had that one down pat, until the new residence for the new school was built by the feds. Elders and children alike would smack their lips while waiting for the annual feast offer by the RC Mission, where the old Father was often overheard stating that everyone is Catholic on New Year’s.

The tradition was to dance after the midnight mass ended until the wee hours of the morning. Many still practice this time-honored tradition, in which fancy moves and shy step dancers dominated the halls. The famous Fort George Reel was created in honor of those many dances held during the ushering-in of the new year.

Some communities have fireworks now, and some have well wishes aired on the community radio phoned in by people everywhere. Three decades later and a taste for eggnog well instilled in people’s memories did New Year’s become synonymous with partying until the next year rolled on top of us. But I must say, that for many people, thankfully, those groggy days are over, and the first day of the new year symbolizes rebirth and an end to the old year.

Perhaps, some of my fondest memories of New Year’s were the games that people played. Many were hilarious and some were testing, but all were done in good fun. Nothing like a break from the drudgery of daily work life. Of course, there were the feasts. I am forever grateful to all those kind people, who worked very hard to feed everyone during those special days. Many would think that this may be excessive, but there were many people who did not have much to eat and community feasts were very tasty.

Perhaps 1 would like to extend a Happy New Year to those I know, and those readers and fans of The Nation Magazine, may your written contributions be inspired by the new year and the holidays that many of us deserve.

And now for those of you who desperately need a hit of the holiday humour after a trip down memory lane.

I think the most important thing about the new year is all the resolutions we make trying to better ourselves. Looking back I can honestly say that I have never kept any off my New Year’s resolutions. So below is a list of resolutions I haven’t manage to hold on to, keep or in any meaningful way to implement:

Stop drinking

Stop smoking

Stop eating unhealthy foods

Quit being sarcastic

Never get caught again wearing my woman’s underwear

I will read the manual… in the future

I’m going to elaborate my stories, so as to

sound more interesting to my friends

Spend more time at work

Assume full responsibility for my actions,

except the ones that are someone else’s fault

Read less

Root for the Washington Redskins and not feel bad about the racism of their name

I’m going to do something productive with my life

Find a culture where what I do would be considered normal

Let go of my feelings of guilt so I can be in touch with my inner sociopath

I will gladly share my experience and advice without saying I told you so

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all!