By Sylvia Hubilla
Round Rock, Texas
Hours before the countdown to the New Year, my three girls and I were hurriedly checking our list – thirteen round fruits, check! Bubbly, check! Ham, check! Who is bringing the fish? Grapes? Check! And fireworks? Check! Looking good.
The table, laden with goodies that made it to the list, not only because of taste, but more important, because of the good luck it’s supposed to bring into the New Year, was ready and looking good. Bring it on, 2013!
Preparedness is key. And it’s all about lists – menu list, gift list, fireworks list, and of course, the New Year’s Resolutions list. The latter though, did not make it to our list this year.
I noticed, as the years went by, that my New Year’s resolutions kept getting shorter and shorter. This is not to mean that I continued to achieve my resolutions of the year before. Rather, it only means that my list of achievable goals realistically got less and less. Or put simply, I just did not have the motivation to keep on making a list which kept getting broken year after year. This did not do a lot for my self-esteem either.
It just occurred to me, that making a New Year’s resolutions list is counting what you don’t have. I decided I would rather count what I have. It’s all about having a more positive attitude to goal setting.
So this New Year, I added something new to our tradition. On our Media Noche table, mixed in with the arrangement of 13 fruits, there were 3 jars, simple glass jars, festooned with holiday ribbons, one for each of my daughters’ family. I labeled each “Family Blessing Jar.” Inside, to make it simple, I put the instructions on what to do with it.
Here is a sample of the note I placed inside each jar:
FAMILY BLESSINGS JAR
Please feel free to embellish this jar any way you want to make it truly YOUR FAMILY’s very own.
1. Every time you receive a blessing or a wish or a prayer comes true – write it down, put the date, and drop it in the jar! It doesn’t even have to be a note – it can be anything: a note, a symbol, or something that will make you remember.
2. At the end of the year, the next New Year, you get everything out – and your family COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! And then, if you feel like it, say a prayer of THANKS.
3. And start the New Year again with the EMPTY JAR, and a prayer for more blessings to fill the jar, and your lives, for the whole year!
HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR FILLED WITH BLESSINGS!
My oldest grandson, Xavi, asked me to explain. He is a linebacker in his Football team. So I asked him, “What is your greatest wish when you go into a game?” And he answered, “To win!” So I told him, and when you do, that is a blessing. And you can mark each and every win, put a date on it, and drop these in the jar. Blessings are not labeled big or small. They are not judged important or not. Because they are personal and subjective, each one is big; each one is important. They are obstacles overcome, finish lines crossed, stars reached, and dreams coming true.
I was happy to see my family on board with the idea. Who wants to make a list of resolutions, which at the end of the year, you have to pull out and see how many, if any, you even started. Will that make for a happy new year?
Wouldn’t you rather, open that jar, and see the blessings spilling out and filling you with joy and gratitude? So at the end of 2013, as the family once again gather to welcome the coming New Year, we will open our jars, and count our blessings, and offer a prayer of thanksgiving, and start the new year with our empty jars!