Each year on New Year’s Eve my husband places a log and an orange outside our front door. He does this for good luck. It is a tradition. His parents do this. His grandmother did this. I expect our four children will do this.
But, like many traditions passed down through generations, the full meaning and history has been lost in translation. And so, after more than a decade of observing him practice this tradition, I felt a curiosity to understand it.
It could be a sign of maturity, or perhaps just the generosity of Google that allows me to research anything, anytime, but I know there’s more to it than that.
This New Year has more significance to me than any one prior. Not because it’s the end of a decade, or the end of a challenging year. But, because, like the teeter-totter of life that I blog about, this past year has been a series of ups and downs.
There were so many amazing blessings and lessons, which are only made possible through adversity and obstacles. It was a year like no other. It was a year of growth, perspective, partnership, forgiveness, and creativity. It was an awakening and I am grateful for this terribly good year.
So with that in mind, I share with you my new-found understanding of a tradition that will live on in my family for generations to come.
It is called the First Foot and dates back to British and Scottish folklore. The first-foot is the first person to cross the threshold of a home on New Year’s Day, bringing with them good fortune for the coming year. The gifts, including a coin, bread, salt, wood, or a drink, respectively represent financial prosperity, food, flavor, warmth, and good cheer.
This is my wish for you.
Happy New Year!
“And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — T.S. Eliot,