(Frank Chaffin) And here we are again, the last Wednesday of the year 2016. Good grief, 2017 coming. (Deb Goodrich) It is and I was looking at Christmas stories and was talking about the things between Christmas and New Year’s, and you’ve got Boxing Day in England and I think Canada, the day after Christmas, and they don’t know exactly where the term Boxing Day came from. Sometimes they said the churches would box things for the poor after Christmas, and there’s just all kinds of ideas about that. But at this time of year, there’s just a lot of myths and superstitions and traditions, and that’s what your next story is about, Frank? (Frank) [Laughs] Yes, it’s really kind of an interesting time. I mean, we just kind of take New Year’s Eve and the New Year Day– (Deb) Just a big party. (Frank) –As a big party and all that, but [Laughs] there’s a lot more to it. All of the little stories and superstitions and, anyway, it’s an interesting story. I don’t want to get ahead of everything here. (Deb) Well, I will put in one little plug about this story because I found it very interesting. The whole thing about the brunette crossing your threshold. (Frank) Oh yes. [Laughs] (Deb) So I am available on New Year’s Eve if anybody needs a brunette to walk over their threshold on New Year’s Eve, and you’ll hear what that’s about. [Laughs] (Frank) Well and then– (Deb) The blondes will be out of work on New Year’s, let me tell you. [Laughs] (Frank) What about, “Don’t throw anything out,” but then there’s another belief that says, “Well, throw everything out.” (Deb) Throw everything out. (Frank) I don’t know, but it’s kind of a cool story so [Laughs]. (Deb) It’s fun. (Frank) Most of the traditions or superstitions we associate with New Year’s are meant to set the tone for what the rest of our year will be. Our relationships, our fortunes throughout the year, our health and wealth and happiness–all these are set in motion by our actions on New Year’s Eve. Midnight is the magic moment. We kiss someone special at midnight to ensure the affections will continue. Also, making noise at midnight isn’t just about celebration but a means of scaring away evil spirits and making sure that the incoming year isn’t cursed! Many traditions bang pots and pans, fire guns, set off firecrackers–anything loud enough to scare the Devil. Another tradition involves the first person to come into your home after the New Year has arrived. A dark-haired person brings good luck and according to some sources, even better luck if he or she is bearing gifts–a lump of coal (for warmth), a silver coin (for wealth), a bit of bread (for plenty). A sprig of evergreen and a pinch of salt are lucky as well. This person should leave through a different door than the one he or she entered. Redheads and blondes are not so lucky and you should shoo them away until a brunette steps across your threshold. There are some traditions that say nothing should leave the house on New Year’s Day–no garbage, no recycling, no big purging, and others that encourage you to open the windows and toss out the old to make room for the new. Of course, there are many traditions around food; some of the most popular are eating black-eyed peas and greens for good luck and financial prosperity. Chicken or turkey are not recommended for a New Year’s meal, probably because the Christmas leftovers should have been consumed or thrown out by now. It is believed that eating these foods on New Year’s Day will bring financial struggles. There are some things over which we have no control, like the direction of the wind. If the wind comes from the south on New Year’s morn, it brings prosperous times. From the north, bad weather will be the norm. A wind from the east brings famine and calamities, and from the west, the year will bring plenty of milk and fish, but also a death. It’s best to wish for no wind, the sign of a joyful year to come, but not likely in Kansas!! Whatever your beliefs about the new year, we hope you are blessed to spend that day and every day doing meaningful work with people you love. Happy New Year!