Welcoming 2022 🔔 "Happy New Year!"

Some ideas for your first CST group of 2022.

INTRODUCTION Wish everyone a Happy New Year and ask how their holidays went? - Did anyone have any visitors staying, or did they visit or stay with family or friends?

- What was the most enjoyable thing about New Year's Eve or New Year's Day? - What were their best Christmas presents? Did anyone have any nice surprises?

- Or are there any presents to 'regift'?

- Does anyone not celebrate Christmas? What is their festive occasion? How did members see in the New Year? Did anyone drink champagne and count down the seconds to Big Ben chiming in 2020? Did anyone watch Jools Holland 'Annual Hootenany' or see the 'Fireworks on the Thames'?

NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS IDIOMS As a memory prompt, we asked members to complete the following phrases together: Turn over a new - LEAF To start - ANEW/AFRESH Nothing ventured, nothing - GAINED To break new - GROUND Out with the old and in with the - NEW When one door closes, another - OPENS Winds of - CHANGE You can’t teach an old dog new - TRICKS As bright as a new - PIN As busy as a - BEAVER As good as - NEW A lick of - PAINT A brave new - WORLD A whole different - BALLGAME A new broom sweeps - CLEAN New kid on the - BLOCK New lease of - LIFE That’s a new one on - ME Breathe new life into - SOMETHING Dawn of a new - DAY Make - OVER Feel like a new - MAN Like a kid with a new - TOY Brand spanking - NEW New - PASTURES New wine in old - BOTTLES Nothing new under the - SUN Plumb new - DEPTHS Put a different complexion on - SOMETHING See in a new - LIGHT Take a new - TURN/TWIST Take on new - SIGNIFICANCE That’s a new one on - ME The Emperor’s new - CLOTHES Ring in the New - YEAR

SONG. 'Happy New Year', ABBA - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Uo0JAUWijM

Hre is our first song to sing along with.

Ask members if they have made any New Year's resolutions (things they would like to do more or less of)?

As we start a new year, what is the single biggest change you or others could make that would make the world a better place to live in?

NEW YEAR'S QUIZ Here's a short quiz to carry on the discussion.

Round 1. Traditions

1. What do people traditionally do at midnight on New Years Eve?

2. What do the Scots call New Year's Eve?

3. What do you call a Scottish or Irish social occasion involving Gaelic music and dancing?

4. ‎What is a 'Calennig' in Wales?

5. What is 'First Footing'?

6. What gifts are given?

7. ‎Where in the UK do people say "Black rabbits, Black rabbits, black rabbits" in the closing seconds of the old year and "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits" in the opening seconds of the new year?

8. ‎Complete the following phrase, which is said by school children on the first of each month... "Pinch punch, first of the month and .........".

9. True or False. Doing laundry on New Year's Day is bad luck?

10. Who wrote the words to Auld Lang Syne?

What do those words mean?

SINGALONG. 'Auld Lang Syne', Maria Carey - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aop6YF1Xqqg

(This is also a great version to dance along with!)

Round 2. Millennium

Identify these 'Millennium Fund' landmark construction projects ...








18. How many 'Millennium Beacons' were lit across the UK on New Year's Eve 1999 to welcome in the new century? (Nearest guess)

19. ‎What was the feared computer failure of New Year's Eve 2000 called?

20. ‎SONG. 'Millennium', Robbie Williams - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcWOviMI6Lk

This song borrows heavily from which James Bond movie theme music?

Round 3. General Knowledge

21. Which country in the world is first to see in New Year, and at what time GMT is it?

22. What are 'Veganuary', 'Red January' and 'Dry January'?

23. ‎What year was the Queen's 'Annus Horribilis'? Why was it so called?

24. ‎What 1972 disaster movie is set around a New Year's Eve party at sea?

25. ‎Who sang that they were going to ... 'Party like it's 1999'?

Here is the song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rblt2EtFfC4

26. ‎Where do Americans celebrate the New Year by watching 'The Ball Drop'?

27. ‎Which Stevie Wonder song begins with the lyrics, "No New Year's Day to celebrate..."?

Here is the song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtPLdL5GWDg

28. Feb 1st 2022 will see the Chinese calendar 'Year Of The Tiger' come in. What are the other 11 animals of the Chinese zodiac?

29. How do you say "Happy New Year" in Welsh? (Or another language depending on the cultural background of your members)

30. NEXT SONG. 'Perfect Year', Dina Carroll - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M7XZEpNwgQ

Which musical does the song 'The Perfect Year' come from?

Round 4. My Top 10 News Stories Of 2021

COVID-19 continued to dominate our lives during 2022, but with the emergence of several successful vaccines life began to get back to normal. The second lockdown was lifted in March 2021 and bars and restaurants, cinemas and theatres and sporting arenas began to re-open.

31. What is the name of the new South African variant? Can you think of any other of the Greek Alphabet letters?

Most of us had to get used to meeting friends and family on 'Zoom' or 'Skype' during lockdown, or if we were working from home it became our main means of communicating with colleagues. As a result, many of us found that our IT skills improved somewhat and computer sales went through the roof.

32. Which online retail company benefited the most during lockdown (net sales increased 40%)?

The Bank of England revealed the new face of £50 notes, which will feature pioneer mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing. His work to decipher messages during World War II saved countless lives and helped bring the war to an end sooner.

33. What was the name of the code that he broke?

The public was given free reign to submit names for Scottish snow ploughs in February, with some very punny results. Our favourites included ‘You’re a Blizzard Harry’, ‘Spready Mercury’ and ‘Sleetwood Mac’.

34. Looking at this snow plough, which series of books is the character Lord Voldemort from?

As of April, footballer and activist Marcus Rashford and his fans had officially given out more than 21 million meals since the first UK lockdown. Food redistribution charity,' FareShare', who Marcus partnered up with, also revealed that it’s given out 128.5 million meals since 23 March 2020.

35. What was he awarded in November 2021?

Anonymous artist Banksy raised more than £16 million for an NHS charity through the sale of a painting depicting a little boy playing with a nurse doll wearing a superhero cape.

36. On which evening and at what time did we all 'Clap For Our Carers'?

Europe officially generated more electricity through renewable sources than fossil fuels for the first time ever in 2020.

37. List ways in which we can help save the planet and go carbon neutral?

The '26th UN Climate Change Conference' (COP-26) took place in Glasgow in November 2021. The 'phasing down' of coal fuel worldwide was agreed, as well a move towards limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2030.

38. Name the 7 continents?

In September, pop legends ABBA announced their return after 40 years with a brand new studio album called 'Voyage'. Released on Friday November 5, 'Voyage' sold in excess of 1 million combined album units in its first week worldwide, and also received more than 190 million combined streams to date. 'Voyage' also debuted at No.1 on album charts in 18 countries, breaking multiple sales and chart records worldwide.

Here is their first hit single from the album, 'Don't Shut Me Down' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5UjJRi9nHo

What do members think of it?

39. What was their first hit single in 1974?

Profoundly deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis won 'Strictly Come Dancing'. She and her dance partner and teacher Giovanni Pernice shone throughout the show, especially in week 11 when she undertook a 'Leap Of Faith', flying through the air before Giovanni caught her.

But the stand out dance for me was when the music was switched off and we all got to hear what Rose does as she dances - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QejOzrlovTQ

40. Name the 'Strictly Judges'. Here they are ...

41. Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister for 2 years, became embroiled in several scandals which damaged his credibility and his party's ratings. What do the following phrases relate to?

- 'Barnard Castle Brouhaha'

- 'Wallpapergate'

- 'Partygate'

- 'Sleazy PPE contracts'

FINAL SONG. 'January', Pilot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X50KJp-oq9M

42. What was their other UK top 20 hit? (Clue "Oh oh oh it's ***** . Never believe it's not so!")


Ask members to choose the best new (ish) Christmas single between these tracks.







Are there any other Christmas crackers to suggest for our Christmas playlists?


Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

SONG. 'Auld Lang Syne', Andy Stewart

A final, more traditional version of the song to finish - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnpGUocGMnk

Dance together, but only if safe to do so!

PRACTICAL ACTIVITY Ask members if they have ever received recognition for a lifetime achievement. Another way of asking this question is to ask what they are most proud of. Perhaps they excelled at school or university, perhaps there was a significant contribution they made in their occupation, or perhaps they raised a wonderful family. Perhaps they have a skill that is remarkable, for example being able to play a musical instrument, being an artist or author or being fluent in another language. As for a practical activity, have members draw or paint a gold medal and ribbon to award themselves for their 'Best Lifetime Achievement'. (And a silver and bronze medal if there is time!) Or make a 'real' medal out of air drying clay and ribbon. Maybe illustrate the background/other side with an image of what it is they have excelled at. (Emojis are useful in this respect.)


1. Kiss. During a Hogmanay party, it's customary to try kissing everyone in the room as the bells ring at stroke of midnight. Passionate New Year's Eve kisses are featured prominently in popular culture.

2. 'Hogmanay'

3. Ceilidh

4. 'Calennig' is a Welsh word meaning "New Year celebration/gift", although it literally translates to "the first day of the month". A 'Calennig' gift is traditionally an apple skewered with cloves, dried fruit and sprigs of evergreen.

5. The tradition of “first footing” was always important in Scotland and Wales. A dark-haired man should let in the New Year for good luck.

6. The 'First Footer' would traditionally arrive bearing gifts to bring good fortune and health to the home. Gifts generally took the form of a coin, shortbread or something edible, a lump of coal or wood for the fire and a drink of whisky to represent prosperity, food, warmth and good cheer.

7. Yorkshire

8. "Pinch, punch, first of the month and NO RETURNS." Salt was meant to make witches weak, so the pinch signified the use of salt to weaken the witch, while the punch was then administered to banish the witch for good. Saying the words 'pinch punch for the first of the month' therefore became a way of welcoming in a new month and protecting yourself from bad luck.

9. True. Don't do laundry on New Year's Day, or a member of the family will be washed away (i.e., die) during the coming year. Also doing laundry on New Year's Day will wash a year of good fortune down the drain.

10. Rabbie Burns / 'Times Gone By'

11. 'London Eye'

12. 'Millennium (Principality) Stadium, Cardiff

13. 'Falkirk Wheel'

14. 'Millennium Dome' ('O2 Arena)

15. 'Eden', Cornwall

16. 'Millennium Bridge'

17. 'Millennium Centre', Cardiff

18. More than 4,000

19. 'Millennium Bug'

20. 'You Only Live Twice', 1967

21. The Pacific island of Tonga is first to ring in the New Year and celebrated at 10am GMT on December 31 - making the tiny island nation the first to head into a fresh year.

22. 'Veganuary' is a pledge to give up meat and dairy for the month of January. 'Red January' is a pledge to focus on fitness as a means to improve physical and mental health. 'Dry January' is a pledge to give up alcohol for the month of January.

23. 1992. It was so called as it was wrecked by the collapse of three of her children's marriages - including Prince Charles' to Princess Diana - and the fire that severely damaged her Windsor Castle home.

24. 'The Poiseidon Adventure'

25. Prince

26. Times Square, New York ('The Big Apple')

27. 'I Just Called To Say I Love You'

28. The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat (sometimes interchangeable with sheep), monkey, rooster, dog and pig

29. 'Blwyddyn Newydd Dda'

30. 'Sunset Boulevard'

31. 'Omicron'. The others are: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu, xi, pi, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi, psi & omega.

32. 'Amazon'

33. 'Enigma Code'

34. The 'Harry Potter' series, written by JK Rowling

35. MBE

36. Thursday, 8pm

37. Recycle, Reduce use of plastics, Turn down thermostat to 19 degrees C, Travel less, Eat less meat and more vegetables, etc

38. Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe & Australia (NB They all begin and end with the same letter!)

39. 'Waterloo', 1974

40. Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse & Anton Du Beke

41. - 'Barnard Castle Brouhaha' - When political advisor Dominic Cummings was protected after breaking the law to drive to Barnard Castle "To test his eyesight!"

- 'Wallpapergate' - When an investigation found he had not declared donations to pay for his Number 10 flat refurbishment, costing a speculated £200,000 (The wallpaper was £840 a roll!)

- 'Partygate' - It emerged that during lockdown, when people were prevented from seeing family members, several parties took place in Number 10 in breach of COVID rules. An investigation is underway.

- 'Sleazy PPE contracts' - A 'VIP lane' for awarding PPE contracts to friends and party donors outside of due process is currently under investigation.

42. 'Magic'

FOOTNOTE It is important to note these discussion topics and quiz questions are only suggestions and prompts to support your CST session. Time for discussion and elaboration is more important than completion and going off at tangents is absolutely to be encouraged. It would be good to have feedback about what has worked well and not so well in the activities included in the CST Blog, maybe along with photographs of things produced in your sessions. (Please don't include pictures of members unless they have expressly given informed consent and their relative or friend has also agreed to it.) Ideas for future activities would also be gratefully received. Wishing all my followers and supporters a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2022. Thank you for your ongoing support!

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