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Gonna start 2014 right

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!
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