Monday, December 31, 2007

First Night

Now that I am back on the computer (slowly trying to get back in the swing of things) My work was good to me this year. I was afraid of getting the same "bonus" as last year. I told a co-worker that last years bonus was enough to fill my gas tank and get a sandwich. My boss explained that my bonus was prorated since I didn't start until August and year end was September. This year was MUCH better! With my bonus I can buy a brand new washer & dryer and many, many sandwiches. Plus a nice big raise AND a Promotion!!!

My raise takes effect in January and I will receive my bonus check sometime in January as well. I am not in a super hurry for the bonus check just yet. I can wait until the end of January if need be. Why? Well, I need some time to reorganize my laundry/storage room before they actually deliver my new washer and dryer.

Today I have been on a mission - Find Coal. It is New Years Eve and I still haven't found any coal! I looked during the Christmas shopping season for those cute little round red tins with a piece of real coal people give out as gag gifts, but no luck. I have started looking for charcoal but due to this being winter and all the stores do not seem to have that either. A few years ago when I was in the same situation someone suggested buying a fish tank filter since many of them have coal inside. That year I lucked out by finding one of those cute red tins at a drug store. This year I had to make due with charcoal.

Why do I need coal on New Years Eve? For First Night of course! This has been a tradition in my family since before my mother was a little girl. What? You don't know what First Night is? It is an Irish tradition which was not practiced widely here in the states. My father did tell me tonight he was happily surprised to actually see a write up in his local news paper today. Well, here is how it goes. The first guests to enter your house after Midnight on New Years Eve usually arrive bearing meaningful gifts meant to bless you all through the New Year (also great for house warming parties as Auntie D reminded me).

First foot (first person to cross your threshold) should have dark hair...Not have red hair. This can be a difficult task in Ireland and sometimes leads to a scavenger hunt for someone with dark hair. Interesting way to make new friends, No?

Second foot is someone bearing a gift (any thing, cake, bell, scarf, car freshener he.he.he)

Third foot you shower with food and drink and ask if they would like to sing a song (they do not have to be in key or even Irish - did I say that?)

For the rest of the guests they can be the bearers of the following items (one person for each, duplicates are also welcome or you can hold on to them until you are at the next house)...

Bread - so you will never be hungry

Coal - so you will never be cold

Spirits - (alcohol or sometimes we use lottery scratch offs) so you will always have laughter to share.

Money - (Usually a coin or a lucky penny) so fortune will always find you.

Spice - (any you wish to give) so your life will always have a bit of spice to it.

A Plant - to give you growth, mentally and spiritually.

Chocolate - so you will have sweetness in your life.

Now you know about First Night.

Here is what my First Night baskets look like. After the stroke of midnight we will carry on a bit at our house and then go knocking on the neighbors' doors...with the baskets. (click on photo to enlarge)

Be Safe, Be Happy. Try doing both at the same time.

I have been writing posts to keep up with the many things we have been doing over here the last few weeks . I will post them later tonight or tomorrow.

Happy New Year to ALL !!


Butrfly Garden said...

What a fun tradition!!

Whiskeymarie said...

That is a pretty cool tradition.

Happy New Year!

raqgold said...

you are right, it is fun reading about different traditions during the new year. since i have dark hair, that would mean, i would bring luck :D great! i might just work on introducing some of those in your list next year. wish me luck! a blessed new year!

Lahdeedah said...

oh that is an awesome tradition.