I have to admit to being a New Year Scrooge.  Whenever I hear about New Year celebrations I want to shout “Bah humbug!” and go and hide in a dark corner somewhere.

Why?  Well, we’re at the end of another year, one year older – and we’re supposed to celebrate? No, no, no, this is all wrong!!

Maybe it’s because as I get older I’m more conscious of time passing, but mostly it’s because I don’t like to be told what to do.  At New Year, we’re supposed to be happy.  End of story.  This forced jollity really grates on me and makes me want to do the opposite.  Okay, so I’m contrary, but why should I have to be happy about it if I don’t want to?  It’s a free world.

I don’t mind other people being happy obviously and I like a good party as much as the next person, but not for this reason.  Why not just have a party for the sake of having fun and being with friends?  That’s a much better idea IMO.

So I won’t be going crazy this year either, but there is one tradition I like to follow at New Year – that of making a wish on a Daruma.  Many moons ago, when I lived in Japan for a while, I was told that at New Year you buy a small papier maché model of Daruma (see photo – according to Wikipedia he is modelled after Bodhidharma the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism and is a symbol of perseverance and good luck).  You then make a wish for the coming year and draw in one of his eyes.  If, by the end of the year, he’s fulfilled your wish, you give him another eye.  If not, I guess he remains one-eyed for the rest of time. 

I’m not even sure if this is a bona fide Japanese tradition (anyone else know for sure??), but it appeals to me and very occasionally the Daruma actually grants my wish.  (Although I have a lot of one-eyed ones in my cupboards!)

Now all I have to do is decide what should I wish for this year.  Hmm, tricky …

Hope 2010 is a good year for everyone though!