We have some odd New Year’s traditions in our house.
I wear red underwear, because that’s what Italians do to welcome the New Year. They say it brings luck in the coming year, while my husband swears we have to eat black eye peas on New Year’s Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.
So far we haven’t done too badly in the luck department, what makes me think that either the red underwear or the legumes must be working; or maybe the magic is a combination of both.
Different countries have different rituals and traditions and we kept a few alive, not because we believe in it, but because we grew up with it. It’s a tribute to our roots and our families.
“Same procedure as every year?” that’s all I need to say and almost everybody in Europe, and many readers in South Africa and Australia, will know what I am talking about.
Watching this short British sketch from the 60’s is a tradition and I wouldn’t want to miss it, like Millions of other people all around the globe.
No telling why it is so special, or why it is used as THE New Year’s sketch all over the world. It has nothing to do with New Year at all, yet it became a New Year’s tradition throughout the world. Even though Dinner for One is -according to the Guinness Book of World Records- the most frequently repeated TV program ever, it has never been aired in the United Kingdom or the United States, and most of the English-speaking world is ignorant of its existence.
It is called “Dinner for One” or “The 90th Birthday.” It is in English and I watched it for the very first time when I was 12 or 13 years old. None of us spoke or understood English, but we knew what it was about, because a commentator had given an introduction in German. Not understanding really didn’t matter, because the story is pretty self-explaining.
Miss Sophie, an upper-class British lady, is celebrating her 90th birthday and she invited her best friends, Admiral Snyder, Mr. Winterbottom, Mr. Pommeroy and Sir Toby for dinner. There is only one problem…they are all dead, she has outlived all of them.
Her butler James manfully takes up the slack by playacting all of them. He serves both drinks and food while toasting on behalf of each “guest.” He waddles through the room, trips repeatedly over a tiger-pelt rug while serving the Miss Sophie. Each course begins with the same refrain:
“The same procedure as last year, madam?”
The same procedure as every year, James.”
Watching Dinner for one is an important part of my New Years evening and now my husband loves it as much as I do. It’s like watching A wonderful life every year on Christmas. It’s not like we don’t know that Clarence will get his wings and that George Bailey will adjust his attitude; we do know what will happen, but it’s just not really Christmas without it.
I wish everybody a very happy and healthy New Year. May there be lots of laughter, lots of joy and peace.*
*Maybe I should change my name to The happy Dreamer.