Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year's Eve: parties and traditions

Our question of the week, which will not be a poll, is about how we spend New Year’s Eve. The variety of ways for observing the changing of the date on the calendar is limited only by culture, tradition and ingenuity.

When I was fairly young our cousin families would meet at one of the homes for a party. The adults plated Cinch and Canasta. The kids played board games and watched the Orange Bowl Parade and then later the break-in for Time’s Square came on. This was a non-drinking event and the drinking cousins went elsewhere.

In later years I remember going to the Grange Hall for a watch night party. It started with a Sauerkraut and Kielbasa supper. Then the adults played card while there were organized games for kids and the teens played board games. This was also a non-drinking event but there were heavy smokers present.

When we married our military groups tended to have New Year’s Eve parties. It was eye-opening because I had never been to a New Year’s Eve party where alcohol was seemingly the main event. I was also amazed that all these people had not learned their limit in college. Once we started getting settled at a place we found local friends and often these people had parties that were more non-drinker friendly.

In recent years we have toned down our expectations of New Year’s Eve. For the Millennium the kids had friends in and we chaperoned. But for the most part we make our own plans such as going out for pizza and a movie or getting a last look at the holiday lights. Some years we have played games at home with a chili supper; this is great when the weather is not travel friendly. Very occasionally we join a group party but we don’t feel compelled to have a year end blow-out.

I have known churches where there is an all night prayer vigil. I haven’t attended one of these but it is an option for some people. And really some extra prayer at the beginning of a new year wouldn’t hurt anybody. First Night is an international effort to encourage communities to support family-friendly and cultural New Year’s Eve activities, but I have never been to one.

So what are your plans for New Year’s Eve and is this typical for you or a new adventure?

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chelle said...

We have as a couple always ordered Chinese and stayed in ... now with kids I am not sure. I would like to have a little party before midnight ... say around 6 ish ... then crash hehe!

Rositta said...

Having friends over, just the four of us. Her Dad died a month ago and my Mom in May so no big partying. We will sip some single malt scotch, play a little Euchre and toast the New Year. We are having them stay over because they live about 50km away and I think their might be snow on Monday. Very quiet evening for us...Happy New Year.

G's Cottage said...

@Chelle - We love Chinese but have never gotten it for NYE. I Don't know why we never thought of it. I bet you guys are exhausted.

@Rositta - I have never played Euchre. I had not heard of it until a couple of years ago. I hope you and your friend find a sense of comfort in spending time together.