The Christmas holidays are a wonderful time here at Savage River Lodge. Our halls are bursting with guests, friends new and old, the tree is atwinkle, and the celebratory bubbly is flowing. As we gather around the table to reflect on the past year and toast the one to come, we share our triumphs and also our challenges.
A New Year’s tradition that we put in place at least ten years ago is the Good Riddance Box. We write down any mistakes or shortcomings, regrets or disappointments, or anything else we want to be rid of from the past twelve months on a slip of paper and place it in a sealed box. At midnight, we place the box in the fire and watch the negativity of the past year disappear. It’s a great way to start fresh, oddly unburdened.
To make your own Good Riddance Box:
- Take a small cardboard box or shoebox and cut a slit in the top large enough for your cards or papers to fit.
- Wrap it in paper (we use black tissue paper) or leave it plain. It’s going to be burned, after all, so it doesn’t need to be perfect.
- Pass out notecards or construction paper and pens or markers to your guests and family members shortly before midnight, or as they come to visit in the few days before December 31st.
- Have everyone write a word, a sentence, or a story on their card — whatever they want to turn to ash. There’s no limit on how many cards each person can fill.
- Pass the box around so each guest can place their piece of paper in themselves — no peeking!
- At the stroke of midnight, place the box in the fire.*
- Have sparkling wine on hand to toast the year to come as you watch the old one burn away!
That last step of toasting to the New Year part is a key component of the ritual, by the way! We have a lot to be proud of from 2015 that we’ll be toasting. We opened our new restaurant, The Cornucopia Cafe, installed our Tesla and electric vehicle charging station, hosted a number of wine tastings and John Holt’s Cabaret evening (coming again in April 2016!), and were busier than ever. What will 2016 bring?
We wish you health and happiness, and hope to see you soon!
* If you don’t have a fireplace, you can place slips of paper in an envelope and burn in a barbecue grill, or on a non-flammable surface outdoors like a driveway.