As days went by rapidly, we entered into the very last month of 2020 and the very first month of 2021. The cold and snowy days that inevitably remind us of Christmas and the New Year arrived as well.
The idea of a new year is purposeful, as it usually means new objectives and goals and therefore brings new hopes along with the so-called new year’s resolutions. They come in different shapes and sizes: they are sometimes a big deal and they require a great amount of effort and commitment. These are usually related to family and friends, love, work and self-wellbeing. Some of them prevail and some of them are forgotten by February.
Obviously, they can also be rather small and trivial; little desires to pursue minor changes in our lives like learning a new recipe, doing more exercise or trying to be more organized. However, one thing is clear: they are all part of a search for a better, perhaps more jubilant new year. Of course, we are also allowed to leave things exactly as they are if we feel that they make us joyful and fortunate enough, such as keeping special people close to us or continuing to work hard to get closer to specific objectives.
This year, though, is unusual. Instead of wanting something new and different, our best wish is probably that things go back to normal. Most of us might have felt excited for 2020 to end, as it can be agreed that it was a tough year. For everyone.
However, we must see it the other way around. Even if COVID-19 and its effects are not yet gone, we have managed to pull out the best of ourselves and we have come together to protect the older and more fragile. Individually and collectively, we have managed to adapt, no matter our age, gender or origin, to a whole new scene, to a whole new way of doing things, to a whole new way of surviving and continuing with our lives regardless of the lost opportunities and the unfavorable economic situation.
Speaking of COVID-19 and adapting to new things, this past Christmas and New Year’s Eve were definitely different. Different is not precisely a word that describes traditions and customs, since we like them as they are. Yet, we still feel lured by the charm the holidays usually bring.
In Andorra, like in most parts of the world, holidays mean reuniting with loved ones. Families who live apart sometimes have only one or two chances per year to gather together around a table and catch up, such as during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, families and friends celebrate together the beginning of a new chapter and wish each other a happy new year while eating twelve grapes at midnight.
Here, it is also tradition to have lunch with family on the 1st of January. The luckiest do it surrounded by glasses of champagne and expensive seafood. The less lucky perhaps not. However, both have in common the joy of being with each other and getting the chance to be together. Even if it was a bit more complicated this past year, we overcame it and hopefully commenced a happier, better, and perhaps in some ways “more normal” 2021.
Happy New Year!
By: Pol Z.