Hair-raising resolutions for the New Year
The Good Life|January 2021
New Year’s Eve traditions
Susan Sampson

My mother taught my siblings and me to observe two New Year’s Eve traditions.

First, we would leave a silver coin overnight on a windowsill facing in each direction. That would ensure that prosperity would flow to us from every direction during the new year. (My brother always got an early start on prosperity. He was first up on New Year’s Day to scoop the coins off the windowsills and pocket them.)

Second, we would make resolutions — we would promise ourselves to better ourselves in some way.

As a teenager, I chose a resolution easily: “I hereby resolve to do a better job setting my hair this year.”

A popular style at the time was “the flip” — hair was long and straight, with just the bottom edge turned up. “Long” was simple — that was just a matter of time. “Straight” was simple — that was genetic.

But coaxing a curl into the bottom edge was not easy. My sister-next-in-line behind me, and I, elbowed each other out of the way in front of the bathroom mirror to do our hair. It was a one-bathroom house for six people, I might add, so we had to hold others at bay at hair setting time.

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