Several years ago, we started a new tradition to ring in the new year. We don’t stay up late, watch the ball drop, get hammered on Champagne, or attend fancy parties. (In fact, we rarely make it to midnight—even the adults!)
Instead, we gather after dinner, pour ourselves something sparkly, and get out the family’s Book of Wishes.
About the Book of Wishes
The Book of Wishes is an ornately embossed white-and-gold journal that I found at Home Goods on accident. When I picked it up, I got a little tremor that seemed to indicate that this book was for something special. I didn’t know what at the time, but I knew that it needed to come home with me.
Several days later, I read Kate Northrup’s “Hogwarts books, glitter, + a candle: a specific recipe for a feel good year” and discovered the purpose of the pretty white journal: it was to become our family record of hopes, dreams, and achievements.
That’s what the Book of Wishes is, put simply. It’s a record of what we have accomplished and what we hope to do.
How we use our Book of Wishes
I wish I could tell you how to use your own Book of Wishes. I can’t—I can only share with you how we use ours.
- We gather as a family. As this is a time to release the old and welcome the new with the people closest to you, it makes sense to, you know, keep them close. We use our dining room table, although I’m seriously considering switching to the sofas this year.
- We make a ritual out of it. For us, this means enjoying Champagne or sparkling cider and lighting a few candles. We don’t play music so that we don’t get distracted, but I know plenty of people who prefer a little light Enya.
- We review what we recorded last year. It’s amazing to see how many things we accomplish over the year, even without trying.
- We write down our wishes for the upcoming year. These things are goals and resolutions, wishes and dreams, financial and domestic, personal and professional. Nothing is barred from the Book. (And it’s a good thing, too, because our youngest was very young when we started this.)
- We close the Book for the year. That’s it. No peaking. Part of the magic of this practice is seeing how things unfolded and being surprised at how much we’ve changed. Moreover, we love to see how much our desires have changed.
Are you going to try your own Book of Wishes?
If so, please let me know! Drop a note in the comments section.
This post was originally published at The Dilettante Diaries. It was lightly edited on December 4, 2015.