It’s always good to be prepared. In greeting 2020 with colleagues, friends, and family, the following sentiments may come in handy:

Toasts for the New Year 

In all this world, why I do think

There are four reasons why we drink:

Good friends, good wine, lest we be dry,

And any other reason why.

Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking.

If you cheat, may you cheat death.

If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart.

If you fight, may you fight for a brother.

And if you drink, may you drink with me.

Here’s to a long life and a merry one

A quick death and an easy one

A pretty girl and an honest one

A cold beer and another one!

In Vino Veritas. In Cervesio Felicitas. (“In wine, there is wisdom. In beer, there is joy.”)

Dance as if no one were watching,

Sing as if no one were listening,

And live every day as if it were your last.

As you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.


May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want.

And finally, from Benjamin Franklin…


“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”

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barlyhood (noun) 

Barlyhood – a word rarely used these days – is a fit of unruly behavior brought on by heavy drinking. From “The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng,” a long, satiric poem written by John Skelton in around 1517: “And as she was drynkynge,/ She fell in a wynkynge,/ With a barly-hood.”

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“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

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If you want to be one of the very first people to celebrate New Year’s Day 2020, you’re going to have to position yourself somewhere along the International Date Line, which runs through the Pacific Ocean a little to the west of Hawaii. The easternmost island of Kiribati (Caroline Island) near French Polynesia might be a good choice. (Hawaii will be one of the last places to celebrate.)

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“The Darkling Thrush” by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate

When Frost was spectre-gray,

And Winter’s dregs made desolate

The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky

Like strings of broken lyres,

And all mankind that haunted nigh

Had sought their household fires.


The land’s sharp features seemed to be

The Century’s corpse outleant,

His crypt the cloudy canopy,

The wind his death-lament.

The ancient pulse of germ and birth

Was shrunken hard and dry,

And every spirit upon earth

Seemed fervourless as I.


At once a voice arose among

The bleak twigs overhead

In a full-hearted evensong

Of joy illimited;

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,

In blast-beruffled plume,

Had chosen thus to fling his soul

Upon the growing gloom.


So little cause for carolings

Of such ecstatic sound

Was written on terrestrial things

Afar or nigh around,

That I could think there trembled through

His happy good-night air

Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew

And I was unaware.

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Andre Rieu – “O Holy Night”


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