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Every year my family lights a bonfire on New Year's Eve to light in the new year. As part of our tradition, we write down the things we're worried about--health, money, family, work problems, etc--and we toss those troubles into the fire.

The first year we did this, we invited family and storyteller friends to email their troubles to us to burn, and many did just that. This is the 9th annual bonfire I believe, and once again I invite my friends and family to send troubles for the fire. If you prefer to keep your troubles private, send a simple "Burn This" message and it will go into the flames along with our best thoughts and prayers for you.

Last year we burned nearly 200 troubles; this year it looks like we've all got a lot more to burn! So please send them to me at susannaholstein@yahoo.com and we'll be sure yours get into the hottest part of the fire.

Please feel free to forward this message to your friends and family--we'd be happy to burn their troubles too!

Let's make merry, one and all, and look forward to a new year of hope and happiness!

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Tags: Granny, Sue, traditions

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Comment by Granny Sue on December 29, 2008 at 10:23am
I like the shrines, Reisa. There is something about writing it down that acknowledges a problem so that we can release it. You see it on paper, somehow it gives you power over it--or maybe that's just me, but I feel a sense of control when I list either challenges or goals.
Comment by Reisa Stone on December 28, 2008 at 10:43pm
What a great idea, Susanna. It's very effective. I helped make giant puppets and shrines for Vancouver's Hallowe'en event, The Parade of Lost Souls. Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/publicdreams/

I constructed the shrine to Lost Money. Before each of our shrines, set in a public park, were stacks of notepaper and pencils where the public could write about their loss and hope. There were shrines to lost habitats, lost neighborhoods, lost birds... Then the Public Dreams Society burned the papers. Thousands and thousands of slips registering pain, gone in a spiral of smoke.

I'll send you an email, for sure.

Thanks.

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