Out with the old, in with new

It's all over, rover - parcels, cake, excitement, big dinner and all - yet there's more ahead of us as New Year's Eve picks up the festive speed.

Best memory of Christmas? Those award-winning nativity stamps that ousted jandals and pohutukawa blossom as symbols of the most popular and meaningful celebrations 2000 years on.

Best hope for New Year? More of the same for most of us and a bit less for others.

How we want the next bit to continue depends on how it is going now.

Those into quiet reflection may see a trend but, for most of us, New Year is a celebration - out with the old, in with the new and may good fortune be our lot.

My father would pre-empt others' riotous New Year gate-gathering sortees by removing the gates and hiding them in our garden, thus avoiding having to search for a missing letterbox and gate every January 1.

Now I think how predictable those lads and their larks were, that householders could guess what was going on.

People coming around at midnight with a lucky lump of coal to say "Happy New Year" is a quaint custom that would hardly cut it here now.

Christmas is a quiet, peaceful family time compared with New Year, when the sun is up, the brakes are off and excitement beckons.

This quiet spot where we are camping for the week is already waking up. Since Boxing Day, more people have been coming with Christmas-gift camping gear that beats sleeping under the stars.

It is an old joke - people taking along the kitchen sink and all, but some go further, with generators, microwaves, fridges (that would be good) and music makers.

Rather than getting away from it all, it looks as if they are bringing it all with them and we are moving along a little to preserve our own hard-won oasis of peace and quiet.

With an e-reading Kindle in one hand, a cuppa in the other, you'd think there would hardly be room for cake and a cuddle, but it is amazing what the mind, lulled by post-prandial rest, can achieve.

It is nearly a new year. May what you are wishing, hoping or praying for happen for you in 2013.

The Southland Times