Tuesday, December 31, 2013
There is an old Welsh new year tradition called First Footing. It calls for the first person to enter your home in the new year to be a dark-haired man, to whom you immediately offer a drink. It is supposed to ensure good luck for the coming year.
I have been First Footing the house every year for a decade. What I do, immediately after midnight, is to collar a dark-haired guest and send him out the back door of the house. He walks around to the front door, knocks, and I let him in, drink to offer in hand, while the rest of the guests laugh and cheer.
Except last year. Right after midnight on Jan. 1, 2013, a female couple arrived and entered the house before I could get my dark-haired man out the back door.
"Oh, well," I thought. "It's just a silly superstition. It doesn't really mean anything."
And then, we had 2013. A year filled with health crises and deaths. It was terrible.
So tonight, you can be certain that I will have a dark-haired guest's shirt clutched in my grasp as we count down the last 10 seconds. He will be *flung* out that back door, and greeted with great gusto when he reaches the front.
Between that and burning 2013 in effigy, I'm hoping to bring in a much better year!