Forget New Year's resolution(s) for 2012. Someone once said, they go in one year and out the other. My problem is that mine go in one ear and then just sit there like a little voice, constantly reminding me that I promised myself I'd lose weight, have more fun and spend more time with friends. That same voice has been repeating the same message for as long as I can remember.

So instead of talking resolutions, I decided to start 2012 with wisdom and laughter. Here are a few toasts and quotations to ring in 2012:

Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average, which means you have met your New Year's resolution. ~Jay Leno (I like his way of thinking.)

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship but never in want. ~Traditional Irish Toast (A sophisticated way of saying, be grateful for what you have and acknowledge your blessings)

New Year's Day. Now is the accepted time to make your regular, annual, good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them, as usual. ~Mark Twain (This gives "under the boardwalk" an entirely different meaning.)

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin (I know what he meant, but ladies, I couldn't help but laugh when I realized what it actually says.)

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. ~Bill Vaughn (Be honest. How many readers have been in bed before the strike of midnight on New Year's Eve at least once in the past five years?)

Sometimes too much drink is barely enough. ~Mark Twain (Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens always seemed to me to be a rather serious man; however, I must admit I like his sense of humor.)

When I think of another New Year's tradition, it reminds me of the Volkswagen TV commercial, currently running for its 2012 Passat, which features various people singing Elton John's Rocket Man, each of them with a different "rendition." I loved the tune of the traditional New Year's Eve song when I was growing up, but I never understood what "Old Ang Zine" meant. I would sing it boldly, as if it made perfect sense to me. When I finally discovered that it was "Auld Lang Syne," I remained unenlightened.

Scottish poet Robert Burns first published the song in 1796. I read on the web site infoplease that "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates to "old long since." To me, that would mean, "I've been old for a really long time;" however, the conceptual translation is "times gone by."

It's time to end my last column of 2011, and I will do so with an Irish blessing in memory of my grandparents, John Bulger and Mary Gorman Bulger, who were both of Irish descent:

May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close his fight too tight on you. And may the face of every good news and the back of every bad news be toward us in the New Year.


Chris Ardis is in her 28th year of teaching, 27 of those in McAllen ISD. She is also a freelance writer. Chris is involved with a grassroots movement to transform public education called SOAR McAllen, which you can find on Facebook. You can email Chris at