2008 is almost here, and it’s nearly time for another round of sure-to-be-broken New Year’s resolutions.
I’ve had my share of foul-ups in that department in the past. I have not, to date, run a marathon. And I still eat more than my share of French Fries.
But there is one resolution I’m making this year, along with many people I know, that I will keep: this year, I resolve to do more to remind members of the military that we, back home, haven’t forgotten them.
I’ve written about this in the past, and so I know it might seem like I’m beating a dead horse, but it’s that important. It doesn’t matter what you think about their mission; the fact that these brave souls are in other countries, risking their lives on a daily basis under the American flag, is reason enough to hold them in the highest esteem, and to let not one opportunity to let them know pass by.
You can send e-cards, of course (this is, after all, an e-card website). You can also buy telephone cards for our servicepersons—there are countless websites out there collecting them, as well as those collecting care packages. It doesn’t matter what you do, really—just do something.
New Year’s Eve is a special day for a couple of different reasons.It is a chance to look back on the year that was, reflecting on and missing the good memories, and bidding good riddance to the bad experiences.The New Year’s holiday is also a chance to get together with the most important people in our lives, and share wishes, hopes and dreams of the coming year ahead.
And at the end of the evening, as that clock strikes midnight, and the year that is officially becomes the year that was, we toast to continued good health and cheer, and everyone smiles, wondering just what, exactly the next 365 days will bring.
But New Year’s can, and should be, also a time to remember those who make it their life’s work to fight for all the opportunities we sometimes take for granted.We may not always like their mission, but our men and women in the military have fought for us, do fight for us now, and will fight for us in the future.
So on this New Year’s Eve, as 2008 winds down to a close, save at least one toast for all the brave men and women who our way of life possible.
We’ve been through a lot lately. A two-year American presidential campaign just came to a close, leaving many people with an itching glut of free time, that they once would dedicate to following politics. The world economy is in turmoil, as more and more governments resort to using state funds to bail out struggling businesses. And lowering gas prices only serve as a reminder of how high the prices one were, and how high they’re likely to be again soon.
All in all, it’s been a rough year, and as 2008 comes to a close, I, for one, can’t wait to leave it behind forever. That’s the great thing about the New Year’s holiday, though: not only do we look back on the year that was, recalling experiences had and memories made; but we also look forward, to the mystery of the year ahead.
Maybe 2009 will be a better year for us all than 2008 has been—it wouldn’t be too hard, really. Maybe 2009 will end up being worse. There’s no way to tell. I’m not saying that 2008 has been horrible, and there are certainly parts of it I will never forget (and in a good way). But I also can’t wait for December 31st to come around, and will love watching that great ball fall on Times Square.
Everyone gets presents on Christmas, and even though we smile and act like we’re surprised to have been thought so kindly of, in reality, if Mom or Dad hasn’t got us any gifts, we’d feel pretty miffed. Similarly, on Valentine’s Day, if you don’t buy your significant other a gift, you’re making trouble for yourself. Mom gets flowers on Mother’s Day, and Dad gets tools on Father’s Day.
But what about those other holidays, where gift-giving isn’t exactly traditional? That’s when you really have the opportunity to surprise the people you love. And you shouldn’t have to break the bank, either. For instance, on New Year’s this year, why not send out some free ecards from gotfreecards.com? They’re absolutely free, and when your friends and loved ones open their e-mail boxes and see you’ve sent them an animated e-card, not only will they know you’ve been thinking about them, but they’ll also know you didn’t have to get them anything: you only did it because you care.
In less than two months from now, we’ll be saying goodbye to 2008, and welcoming in 2009. As this year draws to a close, I find myself looking back on all the things that made 2008 a special year, and looking forward to all the ways that 2009 can be better. In 2008, my little brother made the all-star soccer team; in 2009, he may get the opportunity to go professional. In 2008, my father got a raise at his job; in 2009, he’ll get to retire. In 2008, I left my hometown behind me, to look forward to greener pastures and new adventures; in 2009, I may move on once again.
Anything and everything may happen, and that’s the beauty of celebrating the new year: we’re toasting to the days that have already gone by, and we’re toasting to those wonderful ones still ahead of us.
This year, on December 31st, wherever you are when you watch that great ball drop in Times Square, remember not only to look back on the year that was, but to also look forward to the year that may be. And while you are at it send some New Years Ecards.
New Year’s Day isn’t quite the hallowed holiday as some others throughout the year are. Unlike Christmas, there isn’t a great feeling of peace and joy hanging in the air. Unlike Thanksgiving, New Year’s doesn’t mean cooking a great meal and reconnecting with friends and loved ones we don’t normally get to spend much time with.
New Year’s does, though, have its share of traditions. There’s the ceremonial midnight toast, the tradition of kissing the person next to you just as the clock strikes midnight, and, of course, making resolutions.
What’s funny about New Year’s resolutions is that we mostly known that the lofty goals we set for ourselves—quitting smoking, losing fifty pounds, etc.—are ones we will give up on within the first month or so. Still, though, it’s fun, and more than a little empowering, to set them in the first place.
Something my friends and I have started doing, though, is to set goals for the new year that are so ridiculously conceived and easy to achieve, we do it for the sake of the joke, more so than anything else. Last year, a friend of mine resolved to not eat French Fries on Tuesday—a goal which she has kept (or so she says). And I resolved to always make sure my shoes were tied when I put them on, rather than just slip them on and dash out the door—a goal which I have not been able to keep.
However you celebrate or commemorate this New Year’s holiday—whether it be a gathering with friends, or sending free animated e-cards from gotfreecards.com, just be sure to stay safe, have fun, and set reasonable goals.
The placement of Christmas and New Year’s Eve on the calendar seems like a cruel joke. Other holidays are relatively spaced out: Easter in April, Independence Day in July, Halloween in October. But between two of the year’s biggest holidays, we have only one short week.
Thankfully, there isn’t much preparation needed for New Year’s Eve, other than planning your party, or deciding which one to attend; but it can still be stressful: on Christmas, once the presents are opened, there is a tendency to look at your living room floor covered in wrapping paper and realize there simply isn’t time to get ready for the next holiday.
Some simple advice is just take a breath, and realize that though, yes, there is a mess of Christmas stuff to dispose of before New Year’s, and yes, you only have one week to move on to the next holiday, it still doesn’t need to be done right. that. second. Enjoy Christmas—the whole day—and maybe even give yourself the whole next day to unwind. And instead of rushing to take down all your Christmas decorations, you can maybe add, as part of your New Year’s celebration, a de-Christmasing ceremony. Whatever you do, however you handle it, remember this: Christmas and New Year’s—and all holidays—are meant to be enjoyed. And while yes, stress is to be expected, it shouldn’t overtake the joy of being together with family, friends and loved ones.