When we were talking in class one day about holiday rituals — both the cultural significance and the environmental impact — a student from Country Famous for Cigars said that his family always gathered around a bucket of water on New Year's Eve. They'd put their hands into the water to release all the stress and worry of the old year, and then the oldest family member would toss the bucket of water out the door.
Our tradition here is to spend a quiet evening at home, with a fire in the fireplace and the kids playing music. We have a big meal right after midnight, something that my mother's family always did. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter and Boy in Black went out this afternoon to get groceries for the meal: they are in charge of it this year.
We don't have a bucket of water, but we do have a fresh layer of snow, several inches of it. I like beginning each year in a landscape that is clean and white, like a new page of paper.