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14 New Year’s Traditions We Adapted from Seniors

Have you ever heard the phrase, “New Year's Eve is for amateurs?” Ha! I used to be one back in the day, partying with friends, counting the seconds down to when I could plant a big kiss on my hubby at midnight! Meanwhile, our parents were watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Times Square, hoping we stayed safe.

Now, I take great pleasure in staying safe and cozy at home with my husband, watching Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen toast libations and giggle all night until the shimmering ball drops to usher in the New Year, while in the back of my mind, I’m hoping my own adult children have fun and safe celebrations!

As I reflect on past New Years, I can’t help but ponder the traditions that my parents and grandparents observed over the course of their lifetimes, and those we still honor today.

I found a complete list of 14 New Year’s traditions we adapted from our senior loved ones in a fun article published by Country Living that I’d like to share with you just in time for the New Year 2023.

  1. Make New Year’s Resolutions. The most familiar New Year’s tradition is making resolutions to improve ourselves in some way in the New Year. Previous generations set goals to achieve, which is ultimately the same thing.
  2. Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions. Our parents and grandparents likely set their goals and persevered to meet them. May we all be so resolved to reach our goals and successfully fulfill our resolutions!
  3. Decorate a New Year's Tree. Keep your holiday tree up through New Year’s so it becomes a New Year’s tree! This tradition goes all the way back to the 1600s.
  4. Dress to Impress. Have you ever seen old photos of holiday gatherings, and everyone is dressed up in fancy dresses and suits to celebrate together? New Year’s Eve is a great time to gussy-up and wear something special!
  5. Toss some Tinsel. Tinsel may not have the same status as it used to, but it’s all about adding some sparkle to your New Year’s celebration with shimmering decorations.
  6. Embrace Your Heritage. Seemingly every culture has a different name for ushering in the New Year and their own customs. The Scottish call New Year’s Eve Hogmanay, a culmination of a gigantic party bigger than Christmas that includes traditional gifts of coal, shortbread, and whisky. Germany has Bleigiessen, a lead-pouring custom, and the Irish bang bread against the walls to ward off bad luck. Canadians take a polar bear plunge, and Latinos wear specific-colored undies in hopes for the New Year (red for love, yellow for happiness, etc.)
  7. Eat New Year’s Food. Each culture has a tradition that includes certain foods. Chileans choose lentils and Spaniards eat 12 white grapes at midnight for good fortune. In our culture, round foods like doughnuts and pretzels represent “coming full circle,” while Southerners prepare black-eyed peas and collard greens to represent wealth (coins and green folding money, respectively), ham or pork for prosperity, and cornbread for gold. Hoppin’ John recipes include all three.
  8. Pray or Meditate. “It's fitting that the first day of the new year would have some religious significance, even if it has nothing to do with the calendar resetting. Some Christian churches (particularly in African-American communities) host "Watch Night" services, a tradition tied to the Emancipation Proclamation. For Catholics, January 1st, or the Solemnity of Mary, is a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning they have to attend mass on New Year's Day. However, knowing that revelers will be out late the night before, many churches offer a vigil Mass option on New Year's Eve as well.”
  9. Toast with a Traditional Drink. Champagne or sparkling wine is generally the beverage of choice to toast the New Year. However, seniors may enjoy Wassail, an English original cider-like punch, a Scottish “hot pint,” or Holland’s traditional drink, mulled wine.
  10. Make Some Noise. Early American colonists would shoot guns at midnight to bring the New Year in with a bang. Our parents and grandparents evolved to use noisemakers and fireworks instead of firearms to ring in the New Year.
  11. Give a Gift. “In the past, the gift-giving season didn't stop at Christmas! Handing out gilded coins or nuts was an old Roman ritual, according to The Old Farmer's Almanac, but you could also give eggs for fertility, a Persian practice. Just as in their first-footing tradition, the Scottish apparently also traded shortbread, coal, and silverware, while Egyptians' specialty was earthenware flasks.”
  12. Countdown and Kiss at Midnight. This New Year’s tradition is carried on by young and old. “Kiss the one you hope to keep kissing.”
  13. Sing Auld Lang Syne. This traditional New Year’s song is a mainstay that translates to “Times Gone By.”
  14. Send Thank You Notes. Seniors generally have their etiquette in check, and thank-you notes are mandatory to show their appreciation to others for gifts and professional services. They not only enjoy writing and sending them, but they are likely to smile when they receive them, as well.

At Home Helpers® Clearwater, we embrace the melting pot of cultures and traditions of our clients and their families, and our collective goal is to provide exceptional in-home care services with respect, love, compassion, and kindness throughout New Year 2023.

If one of my star caregivers can help you or a special senior someone you love, I welcome the opportunity to meet you and to review the many services Home Helpers® provides during a FREE consultation and assessment of needs. During this assessment, I will answer all of your questions and ask some of my own to craft the perfect Cared-4℠ Customized Care Plan that is perfectly suited for you or your senior loved one.

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award 2016-2022, the Best of Home Care® Employer of Choice Award 2022, and most recently, the Caring Super Star Award 2022 from We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539


Country Living