“Auld Lang Syne” is a song that’s often a part of many New Year’s traditions. The term “auld lang syne” roughly translates to “days gone by” or “old times.” Even though the New Year is often focused on looking towards the future with intentions of self-improvement, this classic song asks us to reflect upon the past year(s) and be introspective about what has changed. Its lyrics help us think about all of the adventures we’ve experienced and the friendships that have come and gone. It’s a nice way to stay thankful, humble and mindful. Here are a few excerpts (translated):
“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
So on this New Year’s, try to reflect on the past in addition to planning for the future. This opens up a whole lot of activities and exercises that can be done with kids. You can discuss fond memories or perhaps memories long forgotten. You can ask them whether they have become closer to anybody or if they have grown farther apart from someone and how that makes them feel.
It can also be an excellent time to look at some old pictures that were taken and talk about memories experienced together. This can improve not only memory but also imagination, storytelling and critical thinking skills. Plus, it’s always fun to reminisce on the past.
Happy New Year!