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Editor’s Corner: Some notes on January
Andrea Gutierrez new

Superstitions and such New Years’ Eve is a such an interesting holiday to me. On one hand, it can be really special to commemorate the past year with your friends and family by celebrating all the personal and professional triumphs you’ve made in the past 12 months. It’s also just really fun to plan parties with your best friends where you dress up in cute outfits and go do fun things like dance to loud house music and look for someone to kiss at midnight.

On the other hand, I’m perfectly aware that the previous paragraph could only be written by someone under the age of 25 and maybe some people a lot older (and wiser!) than I might vehemently disagree and argue that New Years’ Eve is just a day like any other–or worse, just a silly made-up holiday promoted by Planet Fitness and the ghost of Dick Clark.

I respect all viewpoints on the matter. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t party like it was 1999 on the 31st because I was down with a head cold. Fortunately, it was nothing that some cozy blankets, Theraflu and reruns of “Psych” couldn’t fix.

My favorite part of New Years’ celebrations, however, are all the New Years’ Eve superstitions people believe in. I have to confess, I indulged in a few of them this year, like eating lentil soup for financial prosperity (and dinner, primarily).

But no one beats my mom and her belief in superstitions. Every year, she buys grapes to eat right before midnight on Dec. 31 to symbolize wishes for the New Year. She also makes sure to keep a ton of coins on hand for me and her to stuff in our pockets to help manifest wealth and financial gains in the upcoming months.

These traditions are some of the many superstitions that are popular in Colombia on New Years’ Eve, and I absolutely enjoy celebrating them with my mom. Partly out of love and appreciation that the both of us are together on this Earth in good health for another year, and partly because I love annoying my dad, who swears that he “doesn’t believe in any of that crap.” But he still ate the lentil soup I made–-that has to count for something!

Three Kings’ Day

 For the record, my Christmas tree is still up, as well as my mom’s mini Nativity scene tucked right underneath it. Christmas in our house doesn’t officially end until the 6th, which is the Christian celebration of Epiphany, also known as Three Kings’ Day. To be fair, my dad did stop turning on Christmas lights outside our house to save on the electric bill… I like to imagine the three Kings as fashionably late. Why else would we celebrate Christmas, which commemorates Christ’s birth, on the 25th and Three Kings’ Day on the 6th? Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar obviously didn’t have cars then, nor were the Magi too familiar with the art of RSVPing. (Who says Bible stories aren’t relatable?)

To celebrate the Epiphany, my mom likes to buy a Roscón de Reyes, or king’s cake, for us to eat after we put away our tree and all other Christmas decorations. I try to avoid getting the plastic baby Jesus in my slice of cake, because tradition has it that whomever gets the figurine in their cake has to make everybody tamales on February 2.

This Three Kings’ celebration is actually Mexican in origin, but my Colombian family has adopted it as well, because let’s be honest--who doesn’t like eating cake?

Winter chill 

Is it just me, or does the winter weather feel the worst in January? It’s almost as if December is just a warm-up month (see what I did there?) for January’s chilly climate.

I feel this the most during my work commute. Who among us hasn’t wished to stay bundled up in bed as opposed to spending a few extra minutes impatiently waiting to defrost a car?

And there are people who say that their favorite season is winter! I truly can’t understand it. However annoying a muggy Georgia summer may be, it still beats out a bone-chilling January any day of the week. Plus, as a summer baby, I never have to bother with mittens and scarves on my birthday, unless I decide to fly down to Australia.

Andrea Gutierrez is the editor of the Bryan County News.

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