Traditions are sort of my favorite thing about the holidays. I think this is because the end of the holiday season is marked with the most consistent and fun tradition of them all.
If you are a Jacobsen, you are related to one, or even around one you will jump into the New Year. My great grandma taught the tradition to my dad (and his siblings) over 60 years ago. As the clock approaches midnight, stand on anything you can--a chair, the couch, a stair, etc. Then, very loudly, start the countdown from 10 and then at 1-- JUMP! and yell HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
The story goes that my great grandmother "jumped" from a page of the newspaper onto the carpet the last few years of her life. The JUMP! was that important to the start of a new year.
I think my great grandma had it right. There is great significance in the physical jumping into something new. Leaving the old behind and leaping, with exuberance, into a fresh start of sorts, is cathartic.
So as we say adios to 2011, please feel free to take on this tradition and JUMP! into 2012! May you jump with anticipation of joy, hope and peace for the New Year.