Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

As I write this blog on New Year's Eve, I am reminiscing about my family of origin and its holiday traditions. One of those centered around the "New Year's Baby" who brought a pile of bright shiny new pennies and left them on the fireplace for the children to find on New Year's Day. The pennies would always have the new "year" inscribed on them. My Dad worked in a Credit Union and probably that accounts for his early accessibility to the latest issue of coins. The pennies were meant to bring good luck in the New Year!

My mother was a cake baker. Her favorite cake to make was a recipe called "Happy Day Cake" - just a plain white cake that could be decorated in any manner one saw fit depending on which holiday we were celebrating. She liked to purchase little decorations of various kinds to place on top of the frosted cake. No holiday would be complete without a cake baked by Mom.

New Year's Day did not mean the end of the holidays for us. We all knew that the Epiphany or "Little Christmas" was still to come on January 6, a day also known as the Feast of the Three Kings. It was not until recently that I realized the symbolism involved in the gifts to the Christ Child brought by the Three Kings:  frankincense, gold, and myrrh. Incense was used by the high priests; gold was a symbol that Christ was born a "king"; and myrrh is a fragrant gum resin used to prepare certain perfumes used in funerary ceremonies. In this case, it was meant to symbolize that Christ was born to die in order to fulfill a divine plan.

I hope that wherever you are and however you welcome in the New Year, you are safe, happy, and looking forward to positive experiences in 2016! We all have so much for which to be thankful, including the gift of life itself. Enjoy the celebrations!

Happy Trails to you in 2016!

Patricia Cummings

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