Bring in the New Year Like the Pioneers- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century

By Ebony Porter, December 28, 2017, Events & Fun, Family, Green

Pioneer times were tough, and we would never suggest life without modern plumbing, refrigeration, or electricity! But with the fast pace of modern life, some folks have decided to learn skills from bygone eras. This includes purchasing local products made closer to home with more care and quality materials, unhooking from technology, and embracing homesteading. In our Pioneer Life in the 21st Century series, we’ll help you embrace a few pioneer-like actions, create mindful moments, and perhaps save a few bucks, whether you live in an apartment in the city or a planned community in the suburbs.

Bring in the New Year Like the Pioneers- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century | Bounce Energy Blog

Father time keeps marching on, and the way we celebrate and prepare for the new year we imagine is starkly different from how the pioneers did.

There were no fireworks stands back then, and no crystal ball dropping from Times Square for millions to watch on television. There were no disposable gold paper glasses, and no flowing bottles of celebratory champagne.

We imagine it was more of a simple affair, with friends and family close by as they are today, but without the black tie glitz that we associate with it.

Consider embracing these simple acts this New Year’s and in the days following. You may find that these become traditions in the years to come.

Build A Bonfire

Bonfires are a great way to bring friends together this time of year, to sit around without electronics and tell stories without the distraction of modern life. The meditative quality of fire is relaxing in its own way, and will keep you home and off the roads on New Year’s.

You can add a twist to your bonfire, by having everyone write down their challenges from the previous year, and burn them in the fire! It becomes a sort of purge this way.

Drink The Drinks From Yesteryear

The pioneers were likely to have nothing more extravagant than moonshine, barley wine or whiskey. It’s likely that this was homemade, too!

If you have a neighbor that’s brewing her own beer, see if she can spare a growler. But if the closest thing you have is your local liquor shop, then pick up something that harkens back to a more rustic time.

Bring in the New Year Like the Pioneers- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century | Bounce Energy Blog

Clean Room and Closet Purge

Pioneer life was tough. But they didn’t have the “stuff” and the “gadgets” that we are surrounded by these days. Their lives were by default minimal, so there was likely no need for purging as the start of a new season.

Our lives are different, and a nice way to begin the new year is with a tidy home free from clutter.

If you have the opportunity in the days leading up to New Year’s, then take the time to clean the cobwebs off the ceiling, dust the shelves, wipe down the cabinets, and mop the floors.

Sort through your closet, and select 10 items that you no longer wear. Make the commitment to donate them to your local thrift store. Try your best to get rid of at least 3 pairs of shoes! Sometimes clearing out just a few items can make the space for other things to shine.

A Local New Year’s Meal

It’s likely that the pioneers either grew their own veggies, or purchased or traded for vegetables at their local market. In the spirit of the pioneers, head to your local farm stand or farmers market and round up fresh, local ingredients to prepare your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day feast.

A spread of black eyed peas, dark leafy greens, roast pork and cornbread are the traditional fare to serve on New Year’s Day.

The peas swell when they are cooked, and symbolize prosperity. The greens of course symbolize money! The pork represents positive motion as pigs root forward when foraging, and lastly the cornbread represents gold.

Take a Hike

This is taken from my own family’s book of New Year’s Day traditions, in that we take a hike every January 1st. It starts our new year with fresh air and exercise, and lets us reset our minds for the year ahead. It also guarantees that our day is set aside to spend with each other.

We imagine that the pioneers also took the day after New Year’s off too, and prepared for the year ahead!

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About 

Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.

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