Growing up Cuban in Miami meant embracing a lot of superstitions that have been passed down from generation to generation. I was taught all sorts of things like not to let a broom touch my feet when sweeping the floor because that'd mean I wouldn't get married. Or when I'd go to my tia's house I'd get splashed with holy water from as she held a San Martin de Porres statue in her hand and prayed that he'd protect me. And then candles were lit for any problem, and for some reason everything always turned out okay. Sometimes we just prayed out loud over the candles or the Virgen Caridad del Cobre, the patroness of Cuba. A lot of people might refer to these customs as “magical thinking,” but they shaped my life — and I believe they’ve helped me along the way.
New Year’s Eve is especially important to my family. While most people have “partying” on their mind into the wee hours, my family does certain things to bring on prosperity, good health, love, and happiness in the new year. So here, 10 things I recommend trying before the clock strikes midnight for an amazing and successful 2016:
1. Lentils equal a bigger bank account. Having a bowl of lentils equals making mucho dinero in the new year, according to my mom. She whips up a giant pot on New Year’s Eve and invites the entire family to stop by. The one year I didn’t have them, well, let’s just say my bank account didn’t look too pretty.
2. Have a midnight snack. At the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve, eating 12 grapes brings you good things for the next 12 months. This tradition is so common in Miami, I’ve seen people prepare plastic baggies for their New Year’s Eve guests. I literally have to shove them down, because, really, who has the urge to eat grapes at that time?
3. Clean up. Your home needs a good limpieza for good juju. Either
hire a cleaning lady or buy Mistolin and DIY. Pick up everything off the floor, dust,
scrub the floors and the windows, and do it with love so you can fill your abode
with great energy.
4. Open your windows. Sleep with your windows open to let the old air and negative energy out. I’ve started to do this already.
5. Walk around with a suitcase. Reach for your maleta and make sure at midnight you run around a block with it. Every since I started doing this, I started traveling more and more each year. This year, I literally lived on a plane and went to Paris, Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and across the United States to places I had never seen before. You might look crazy doing it, but you’ll become a jet-setter!
6. Clear up bad blood. Repair whatever issues you have with someone. Call, text, or e-mail them. Do whatever it takes to fix things. Last year around this time, I reached out to my sister. After four
years of going silent on each other after a big blow up where we both hurled angry
words at each other over a misunderstanding, we finally forgave one another. I
felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders when it happened, and we’ve been getting closer
7. Get your beauty game on. Don't have plans to go out? So what? Or you do have plans to go out? Either way, you need to look your best for the next 365 days.
Book a blowout, a mani/pedi, and/or makeup sesh. I guarantee you you’re going to have a
beautiful year if you do. I just booked a hair appointment and I don’t have plans.
8. Dress up and wear something new. My mom instilled this one in me as a little girl. She always said I had to look my best and wear at least one new piece. Of course I didn’t always feel like it, but as I got older I began to understand that this is all about energy and fresh starts. Even if I've been sad or not in the mood to do this one, I've done it to bring on new beginnings.
9. Wear something red. Some people put on red lipstick or underwear to bring love. But you can rock a cherry frock or shoes and it'll be just fine. I wore a red jumpsuit last year, and in less than a month I met someone.
10. Create a wish list. While everyone is focused on Christmas lists, you should really
be concentrating on a New Year’s list. What do you really want for 2016? Every year I pour
my heart and soul into this and the words slowly manifest. They say it’s better to do it by
hand. Sometimes, when I go back and read my lists, it’s almost scary to realize that the universe
is listening and wants to make things work out. If there is anything on this
list you must do, it’s this one. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you truly want.
you a prosperous 2016! Cheers, amigas!
Annie Vazquez is a Founding Creator and fashion blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala.com, you can find her at thefashionpoet.com.