Family Traditions #1

Pinch and Punch, First of the month, white rabbits and stuff!

It occurred to me at the beginning of February that as a family we have some unique traditions which are just ours, that whilst they mean something to other people and there is an element of recognition in them, over time we have adapted it to suit ourselves.

What started as my mum saying to me on the first of every month as soon as we got up, as you could not say anything else before these words had been uttered as transferred into something else when I left home. Was the saying at the top of this post. We actually never pinched (or punched) each other, but it was always said no matter what.

So where does this bizarre little quirk of not just my family but also probably many families quaint custom come from?

Originating from old England times when people thought that witches existed. People thought that salt would make a witch weak, so the pinch part is pinching of the salt, and the punch part was to banish the witch. The witch would be weak from the salt so the punch was to banish her.

Added on to that is the superstitious saying “White Rabbits” at the end of Pinch and Punch…. bringing good luck for the month if spoken on the first day of said month. This is as good as saying the key phrase¬†“No Returns” and after having spoken both Pinch and Punch and White Rabbits, you are invariably blessed with luck if you believe such things.

Now if “White Rabbits” is not spoken or instead “No Returns” then the receiver has to be quick:

“A flick and a kick for being so quick.”¬†

I know there are many theories about what is said and why, but I have picked the most common that can be found on the web and in reference books. Please enlighten me if you have another reason.

Back to my family tradition; embracing technology it has now become the first text of the day on said day and a competition to see who can be first. As we both get up very early, it is who can get to the mobile phone first. I am invariably up at 0515 and always wary of sending a text at that time, for fear of the phone going off in my parents bedroom and my dad being woken, rather grumpily. So I try and wait until a bit later, but this plan does not always work.

Whoever loses, now sends the text Beat Me! This month I became even sneakier and thought whilst up (ready to head off swimming) I decided against text so early but opened up the iPad and sent a message that way to my mum’s iPad. Great – another way. Did I win, well only just as I sent the message, a couple of minutes later my phone went and the incoming text was in! Ha little did she know that when she went to switch on the iPad and check her messages I had got in there a whole 2 minutes early! Who beat who? I think we will call that a draw.

Now how early can I do it in March?