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Don't Let One Bad Year Tarnish The Last 20

A friend of mine told me a great story about his 6 year old son. My friend and his family were at a New Year’s Eve party where people were toasting the New Year to come. On their way home, the 6 year old asked his father “who is old Aunt Sine?” My friend and wife couldn’t figure out what their son was talking about as their son stubbornly kept asking about who this old Aunt Sine was. Finally, the persistent son said “You know, the lady we are all supposed to raise a cup of kindness to!” Then it clicked for my friend-his son was referring to the song they all sang at the stroke of midnight: "For Auld Lang Syne, my dear, for Auld Lang Syne. We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne." Apparently “Auld Lang Syne” sounded like “Old Aunt Sine” to the young boy.

I believe most of us are familiar with that song as we welcome in a new year, but many (including me until very recently) don’t know what Auld Lang Syne actually means. It turns out that "Auld Lang Syne" is an old Scottish song written in the 1700s. Robert Burns is the person whose transcription got the most attention, so the song is associated with him. The words auld lang syne mean (essentially) to times gone past. So when we raise a cup to Auld Lang Syne, we are toasting the events from the past year as we enter a new year.

Considering the fortunes of the Sox and Pats in the past debacle-of-a-year, I’d like to suggest an amendment to the meaning of Auld Lang Syne. Rather than raise a toast to the past year, let’s raise a glass to the past couple of decades, shall we? Since 2000, the Sox have won 4 World Series titles, the first and only team to do so in the 21st century. Their run included the seemingly impossible, very improbable defeat of the Yanks for the A.L. crown after trailing 3 games to zip. The Pats? Ridiculous success. Six Superbowl titles. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in an NBA title for the Celts (2008.) Oh yeah, the black and gold skated to a Stanley Cup in 2011 too.

Surely, we are all happy to kick 2020 out the door for many reasons. And OK, the past 12 months didn’t give us much to cheer about as New England sports fans. But instead of moping, let’s raise a cup and toast the Sox, Pats, C’s and B’s; they’ve given us plenty of highlights to boast about as we jump into 2021.

"Here's to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold." (Anonymous)

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