The sounds of firecrackers and fireworks echoes through the night even hours before the appointed time. Families begin to gather in their homes. Grandmothers and mothers–who knew a thing or two about superstitions–wear polka-dotted dresses, shirts, or skirts. 13 round fruits neatly placed inside fruit baskets as decor in the dining table, along with the Medianoche. Speakers are turned to a higher volume than normal, videoke machines rented out everywhere as people sang their hearts out–whether they were drunk or sober.
And then before you know it, there’s only a minute left. The firecrackers are going full force now as the countdown begins. People wait in anticipation as the timer counts down to 30. Then 20. Then 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1…
And that’s when the firecrackers and the fireworks come alive and children begin jumping up and down–believing that by doing so they would get taller that year. The sound of coins jingling with the belief that it would bring in more money–dozens and dozens of them–mixes in with the booms and the bangs, the laughter and the cheers, the singing voices of tone-deaf singers and awe-inspiring
performers, the oohs and the ahhs in watching the magic in the sky brought forth by all sorts of fireworks.
And then, after a long while of jumping, of jiggling coins, and of pyrotechnics everyone would gather inside the house, offer a prayer of thanks and well-wishes, before they would dig in to the food. Of course, there are still a cacophony of noise outside as firecrackers are still being set off, and tone-deaf singers (well, not all of them are tone-deaf. It’s just that most of them are, XD) continued…err…singing.
That’s basically what happens during New Year’s Eve. At least, where we live that’s how one usually spends the New Year. Each house has their own fireworks display. Well, ours are not included as we have long since stopped setting off fireworks. Instead, we just watch what the other people have and treat ourselves to a fireworks display that could rival those from Enchanted Kingdom.
Everyone is always so excited about the New Year. We often believe that with the New Year we get to have a new start and maybe even be a different person. We have New Year resolutions to prove that. Every New Year we feel a sense of hope, a belief that this year would even be better than the one before, that maybe this is the year when we would get that car we have dreamed of owning, or finally move into a new house–our dream house. Or maybe this is the year when we’ll be promoted and be given a raise? Perhaps this New Year would be the year when your crush finally notices you and maybe even reciprocate the feeling. Hey, maybe this is the year when you’ll finally win the lottery or get a job. Maybe this is the year that you finally lose that 10lbs that you’ve been trying to lose. Who knows, maybe this year all of your wishes and your dreams will come true.
New Years bring us a sense of hope as we think of all the things–the good and wonderful things–that could happen to us.
But the thing is, New Year isn’t all about looking forward to the future and hoping, wishing and praying for more and more blessings to come our way. The New Year is also a great time to be thankful.
It’s the time to say ‘Thank You’ to our friends who stuck with us for another year, even though we can be a bit annoying and frustrating (and maybe even a little bit self-centered) at times. It is the time to say ‘Thank You’ to our family who continues to support even our craziest dreams and are always there to help us and comfort us. It is the time to say ‘Thank You’, most of all, to God for giving us a whole year to learn and to grow. For keeping us alive and safe, happy and healthy; stronger and wiser than the years that have gone and for giving us the chance to grow as a person.
I, for one, have a lot to be thankful for for the year 2010. I got myself a job that I love to do and I enjoy doing, I met new people and gained new friends, I got myself an XBOX 360 and a PS3 game system and even bought an iPhone 3Gs for myself. I got to go to new places and hang out with my Aunts, Uncles and cousins, I got to enter a writing campaign (and became one of the winners who won the said campaign). I even regained my love for reading and got a mountain of books (and still counting) to prove it. Not to mention that we had a new addition to our family in the form of our cute, little Shih-Tzu named “Percy” (named after the hero in Rick Riordan’s books–Percy Jackson).
Granted I faced a lot of challenges in the past year, along with bitter disappointments. I’ve even found myself in an unfair situation or two when I felt so helpless. But through all of these, I found myself being thankful that I encountered them. I’m not saying that I enjoyed being placed on such situations–I do not. Heck, I don’t even like going through those kinds of things. Why I am thankful that I did is because I grew stronger as a person because of them. I learned to stand up for myself and I got to see who truly are my friends. I guess it is true–what doesn’t kill you makes you that much stronger.
Thanks to what I’ve experienced during 2010 and thanks to my hope for what 2011 would bring, as well as my inspiration to give thanks, I manage to write a short prayer for this new year.
Another year has come, another year has gone. Thank you for the blessings that we’ve received and the gifts that we have given. Thank you for the new friends we have made, and the friends that we have reconnected with. Thank you for the trials that have come our way and for the strength that you had lend us to surpass them. Thank you for the miracles you have showed us–as simple as they be. Thank you for the family and the heritage you have given us. Thank you for the patience, the guidance, the understanding, the love, the care, the trust, and protection you have given us through the many that surrounds us. And thank you for the hope and the assurance that whatever lays ahead in this new year, everything will be alright.
We pray, Father, that you will continue to bless and watch over us; guide and be merciful towards us this year and all the new years to come.