And what are you doing to celebrate?

First, I trust you let this man into your house last night. You really should have, you know. His sack carries coal or salt or something else I can’t remember, providing you with plenty for the new year, although chances are in my neighborhood he’d dump the salt/coal and leave with your laptop.

Some particularly dedicated and hardy people celebrate New Year’s Day by going swimming. Outside.

The Chicago Polar Bear Club has these rules:

1. Swimsuits only. No nudity (it’s a family event) and no wetsuits (that’s cheating).
2. Swimmers must go all the way under the water before coming out to be “official.”
3. No whining!

On the left, the Lake View Polar Bears of Chicago in action, chunks of ice and all. Their motto is celebration of shrinkage. Yikes.

This insanity is practiced worldwide. On the right, the Berlin Seals put the old year behind them. It seems to be snowing and swimsuit optional.

Like Eleanor, I don’t really believe in new year’s resolutions. But this year I do want to continue to lose weight (hooray! although recently it’s been a bit of a butterfest), to put the joy back in writing, and to be more generous in my time and resources to others.

How about you? What are you doing today and what are your plans for the new year? And is anyone going swimming today–I’d love to hear from you!