It's New Year's Eve and I must make sure that all of the Christmas decorations at my home have been taken down before midnight. ALL of them. It's a family tradition.
Thank God I convinced my mother that it really would be fine if she didn't put up that lighted reindeer and Christmas tree on the front lawn this year. After all, it was Christmas Eve, what's the point? It was Christmas Eve and my mother still wanted to put up decorations. Ya, gotta love her.
Not only must the decorations be down before midnight, we must also sweep and mop the floors. I still don't understand why we have to mop and not vacuum. Whatever, less for me to do, right? There is more to this. We also can not wash clothes or wash our hair our wash our cars after midnight. After 12:01 a.m. on January 2, you're good to go. If you broke these rules, the household would have bad luck all year long.
Also, our New Year's dinner menu must consist of ham, black-eyed peas and rice, collard greens (not mustard greens or turnip greens or kale) and candied yams. Other items can be added to the menu but these items must be on the menu and you must eat them. All of the relatives who consider thenselves vegetarians have to forego their dietary change that day or just don't come by. Heaven forbid bad luck is heaped on the family because you don't eat pork! LOL
I can deal with the traditions I shared with you thus far. The last and my absolutely least favorite tradition is that the first person to visit your house must be a man. Yeah, a man. If a man enters your household first, you'll have good luck. I despise that but the tradition continues. My mother also shares stories about how her mother and a neighbor, Miss Bessie, had an intense competition about this. Miss Bessie would get a man to come to her house first and then try to visit my grandmother. My grandmother would run Miss Bessie away before she got in the front gate.
This year, I'm going experience a new tradition of eating soup with my Haitian friends. That should be nice.
Traditions are nice but some are just downright insane. Please pray that I get these decorations down. I don't want to be the one who causes bad luck. Happy 2007 to all! Peace.
© 2006 VANESSA BYERS, Vanessa: Unplugged