As a child, I remember staying up later than usual to ring in the new year with my family. There would also be a few of my parents’ friends at our house for the occasion. I don’t think I was able to make the official midnight celebration until I was 10 or 11, but we’d always have a toast to the future and my folks would sing Auld Lang Syne. I was never sure what that meant, but would join it just the same. The song was actually a Scottish poem, written by Robert Burns in 1788!, traditionally used to start the new year, but also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending of a special occasion. It was also used to end some ceremonies at Boy Scout jamborees and such.
A few weeks back, we were at an estate sale and I came across a charming porcelain stein with the hand-painted words “For Auld Lang Syne“, with wonderful poinsettia flowers as well – a beautiful piece! It was actually signed near one of the berries, but the lady did not know the artist. I thought it would look especially nice with the other hand-painted mug on display. This one has pine cones and a rather charming verse from Poor Richard’s Almanac, reading “Give Me Yesterday’s Bread, This Day’s Meat and Last Year’s Cyder.” This appears to be done by the same artist – “G. Kruizenga”, who is most likely not well-known, but a long-gone family member of the gent that had the living estate sale. In any case, they are now proudly displayed with other holiday items in our curio cabinet.
I realize that many people collect Christmas items, but I don’t know how many value New Year’s collectibles. I rarely see any pieces, other than greeting cards or postcards. A fellow blogger recently pointed out that having three of anything is a collection, so, for now, I am safe. But the fact that I was drawn to pieces by the same artist leads me to believe I’ll someday have a collection of these hand-painted beer mugs. After all that’s what collectors do; we are always looking for the next collection and the proper place to display them.
I wish all of our CQ readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!