Matt and I enjoyed a wonderfully low-key New Years Eve at home last night. It’s hard to believe we’ve just entered into another new year. This past year, God has taken us on quite a ride, and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for us in 2009.

Several days ago, I was talking with my Hispanic coworkers about our New Years Eve plans. Well, they had me cracking up as they listed all of the traditional Hispanic traditions they follow as they usher in each new year. Now, do not assume that I was laughing in disrespect to their culture. No, I was laughing along with them as we considered how ridiculous some of their superstitions sound…

  • Underwear. This is a big one. Wearing red underwear on New Years Eve promises good love in the coming year. Green means money. Yellow means a better job. I asked if they were allowed to wear several pairs at once to ensure luck in multiple areas of life, and they were stumped.
  • The next one is kind of cute- writing your wish for the new year on a red balloon and releasing it into the night sky.
  • Speaking of night sky, one of my friends at work mentioned that her family stands outside on New Years Eve, staring into the sky looking for a “signal”. This sounded particularly odd to me, so I giggled and asked “umm what kind of signal?” She couldn’t elaborate any more, and it made me wonder if they have ever found the signal they have been looking for.
  • Another big tradition involves rolling suitcases around the block to bring good travel in the coming year. My coworkers assured me that if I drove around on New Years Eve and looked hard enough, I would surely find countless little grandmas rolling their suitcases in the freezing cold wishing and hoping for a trip to Mexico.
  • This final one I think is the tradition that was most commonplace among my coworkers, though it sounds to be a gigantic choking hazard to me. For good luck, one is to eat twelve grapes in the final seconds before the clock strikes midnight- one grape each second. They warned me, however, that it is vital not to get the grapes with the big seeds, as those make the task way too difficult. I kept asking them how they avoid choking on so many grapes and how they manage to give their hubbies a “happy new year” kiss, but I got no good answers.

So there you have it. Superstitious or not, may this new year be one of joy and hope and love for all of you!