Jan 8 4 Comments

Many years in a box

Few things are more exciting than opening The Box and seeing what is inside.

We have some traditions in our family. One is to make something nice for breakfast on Sunday mornings. Another is to clean the house on Saturdays. My kids much prefer the Sunday tradition. One of my favorite traditions though is the New Year’s box. That one is special.

Many years ago we decorated a shoe box with glitter and glue and all things tacky. In it we put a stack of note paper. On New Year’s Eve we sat down and wrote things we were thankful for. The girls were small then and they could barely write. They wrote things like: I love my mummy, and I am thankful for my bed.

Reading the cards from years long ago. "What was life like back then in 2005?"

The notes were put in the Box. Next year we wrote new notes and put in the Box. We all wrote a little more than the previous year since our writing skills had improved. We started writing about the lows and the highs of the year that just passed, and hopes for the new one. We read our notes for each other and put them in the box. Then we took out the notes from the last year and read them for each other too. We laughed and cried.

Now we have notes for about seven years in the Box. We opened it on January 1 and read the notes from so many years ago. We laughed and cried. Then we wrote about the things we loved and hated about 2011. We wrote about our hopes and aspirations for 2012.

Reflecting on a year that is gone, planning for the year to come, and being thankful for what has been given to us, like our sisters.

I wrote that I want to learn to dance. And that I was very happy when I went for all my hikes in 2011. I wrote a lot of other things too.

Steve wrote about finishing his house, Elise about Obama, Naomi wrote about wanting handwriting as nice as Elise’s and Kristin wants Naomi to shut her mouth when she eats. (Which, BTW, Naomi does. But not in Kristin’s eyes.)

Today the new year is eight days old. I have stuck to some of my resolutions. For example, the laundry room is still clean, I have exercised every day and I have hardly lost my temper at all. But I have fallen short on prayer and devotional times, and, sadly, I am too fond of chocolate to give it up.

A journalist friend I like and respect a  lot recently wrote in her paper that she always makes nice resolutions that she looks forward to accomplishing. I thought that was so appealing, and a sure way to not get discouraged by the fact that your resolutions rarely become anything but a failed goal.

So in addition to trying to be nice, I think that I am going to make an effort to: Sleep more, read more fiction, say no more often, find more new music, get a manicure and watch more TV in 2012.

It’s a Happy New Year still.