WHAT NEW YEAR'S EVE MEANT TO ME, WHEN I WAS LITTLE

	
			After Christmas; the days were hectic.
			There was not much to do, such as, 
			cleaning the house or buying outfits, 
			there was no need for all that, but 
			there was something else more important
			for us kids, as far as, we were concerned.

			All the stores and streets were decorated 
			for the coming of the New Year. Garlands 
			and Lights were shining everywhere. 
			There was no school and the kids were
			free since Christmas to do what they 
			wanted.

			My Mom and Dad were saving for the whole 
			year to buy the things each other and 
			the kids wanted.
			Do you know what those things were?
			Of cource not clothes, these were bought 
			at Christmas time; already.

			Those things were the most desirable 
			things kids plan and dream; they wish 
			to get.
			Well if you said toys; you were right.
			Friends and relatives boasted of the
			best toys they would get from their 
			parents. None imagined for the second
			best, theirs would be the best.
 
			Those days there were no electronic 
			toys. For my brothers there were 
			cameras and accessories, school 
			supplies, motorized and string winded 
			cars, tanks, plastic guns, wooden toys 
			of all kind that you winded, pushed 
			and pulled and for me there were 
			beautifully dressed dolls.

			There were also puzzles and other 
			card and mechanized games and little 
			round containers that had a mirror 
			on one side and a puzzle with a ball 
			that you tried to place in a hole on 
			the other side.

			The big expensive toys, you were
			expecting your parents and close
			relatives would give you. 
			The small inexpensive toys; were
			exchanged between favorite friends 
			and relatives. You bought them 
			with your savings and the money
			you earned from the Christmas
			carrols; you sang.

			So, the excitement and the fever 
			was at its peek; the whole week. 
			Going from store to store to find 
			that special and colorful toy that 
			only your recipient will have.
			Also, you had to find out secretly
			what your special friends wanted,
			you did not want to buy something
			that would be thrown in the corner.

			That was life during the week between
			Christmas and the New Year.
			My Mom the day before she baked our
			traditional sweet aromatic bread
			with the number of the coming year
			placed on top,like, for us this year 
			it will be "2005".

			Then she had the table decorated 
			and ready for the grown ups to 
			have their places for their card
			game that was played throughout
			New Year's Eve and did not end 
			until the following evening.

			She had fruits and nuts and cookies,
			she had baked. Wine for quenching our 
			friends' and relatives' thirst and 
			for the wishes for the New Year. 
			It was always the red sweet wine 
			that all of us loved. 

			When the clock struck 12:00, the
			lights would go off for the old
			year and back on again for the
			New Year, everyone kissed and 
			wished each other Happy New Year
			drinking a little of the red 
			wine, my oldest brother would go
			outside and enter again stepping 
			into the house with his right foot.

			Then the bread would be cut, to so
			many pieces as the number of our
			family, friend and relatives that
			were present at the table.
			Every one would get their piece
			and would start looking for the
			lucky coin my Mom had hidden in
			the bread. The person who got 
			the coin would be considered the
			lucky one for that year.

			The next day, we all went to the
			church and brought back the Holy
			Water to bless the house.
			Then we all gathered to exchange
			the gifts we eagerly anticipated.
			From Christmas to the day after
			the New Year life in my house
			was like a dream.
			These were my family's traditions,
			that were performed with reverence,
			omitting nothing. Everything done
			in detail; year after year. 

			So, when this time of the year comes
			around, I am reminded, of how
			important family traditions are,
			how they keep the family together,
			how they instill love and affection
			for each other.
			I feel blessed that I was born into 
			that family with so much love and
			tradition.

Note: It is important to have and keep in your heart; things you did when you were in your family's household
with your parents, brothers and sisters, if you had any. You must continue the tradition, so your own family reminisces
their childhood tradition, as you do. It does not matter how elaborate these traditions are, as long as, they are
repeated and become part of you and your own family's. I am sure, you will find information about New Year's traditions
and how they are observed around the world, in your library or your computer, an excellent source that will
enlighten you.


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