For the past 20 years on New Year’s Eve our family of four has gone out for a high-end dinner and done a ritual that we all love. Each person takes a turn in reviewing their year using a particular formula; what I did well, what my challenges were (and lessons learned), what I am grateful for, and who I send blessings to. Each person gets to take as much time as they need to talk about themselves and their year while the others listen without interruption. When each person is finished, the other members of the family have the opportunity to affirm the growth, success, inspiring qualities, and hard work that they’ve witnessed in that beloved’s life, as well as magnifying the blessings that they choose to send. Each person’s turn is sealed with a toast to them and their presence on the planet.
This year of course the high-end dinner isn’t an option, so the ritual will be at home in front of the fire, with champagne and charcuterie. It’s been a tough and raw year particularly this month of December which brought the loss of my husband’s brother, an emergency appendectomy and subsequent nerve-pain for me, and my husband’s back going into spasm, so we’re feeling rather vulnerable and introverted on this New Year’s Eve. All four of us are committed to our ritual though – it’s really non-negotiable – even if it’s in pajamas and lying on the couch rather than dressed to the nines and going somewhere special. The call to be with each other in deep listening mode, holding space and witnessing each other’s journeys, is irresistible and may be the best moment of any year.