A perfect New Year’s Eve.

The perfect time for contemplation.

In Russia where I was raised, New Year’s Eve was the biggest holiday of the year. It usually involved party hopping, going from house to house, visiting friends, family, drinking, exchanging gifts and staying up into the morning hours. There was always a “Christmas” tree with gifts piled under and waiting till midnight to open them, once we would ring in the New Year. That was the only night kids were allowed to stay up if they could manage it. I have the best memories of New Years Eves from Russia.

I moved to the US at 18, with my husband and year after year we have maintained the tradition of New Years being the most important holiday for us. And as our kids got older, and their winter break was centered around Christmas, going back to school on the 2nd or 3rd of January, we decided to go along with the tradition of Christmas day gift giving. That gave our girls a whole vacation to enjoy their puzzles, books and legos.

We are not a religious family. Deeply spiritual yes, but not subscribing to any particular religion. Russia became an atheist country as communists took over, and we were not raised in religion. Although, as we got married, later, after the fall of Soviet Union my husband and I had our wedding ceremony in a Russian Orthodox Church.

In a way moving to the USA in 1991 and later starting a family, we were able to create our own family traditions. One of them is to still celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family, but it no longer is about gifts and presents, drinking and partying (although it is fine to go out and celebrate if we feel like it) but it became more about a family getting together and reflecting deeply with gratitude on the year that is passing. We laugh, we cry, we remember in gratitude and celebrate the good stuff. We also slightly, without brooding over it mention the bad, the mistakes, and talk about how could we, if possible avoid that in the new year, in the future.

And the best part is, talking about the new incoming year and planning, and setting intentions, and dreaming the wildest dreams, having fun with it and focusing on how we want to feel in these next 365 days. I started using Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map system, a conscious planning program back in 2014 and it was an immediate obsession. Every year I get her yearly planners for myself and my oldest daughter Nikita. She has told me that using Desire Map Planner every day made her high school years and now her college experience so much easier to bear and to actually enjoy. She went to a very affluent high school with lots of pressure, stress, and overachievers, and writing in her Desire Map planner/journal with its gratitude prompts and beautiful positive insights have made a world of difference.

So in our family we are all about soulful planning πŸ™‚ 2019 here we come!

I wish everyone a very joyfully, successful 2019, filled with love, peace and happiness, and most importantly I wish you much health so that you can actually enjoy all the above πŸ™‚

To your health,

Elena

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