When I was a little girl, our family would head to my great aunt's house in New Berlin along with the rest of my extended family, where we would have a boring time (to us little kids anyway) while the adults hung out, occasionally yelling down the hall for us to stay off the furniture. Every once in a while my aunt would look at us kids accusingly and say, "I hope you kids keep this tradition going after we're gone."
A boring party where kids weren't allowed on the furniture? We didn't keep that one going. Sorry auntie.
But I do miss my aunties and grandma. I miss hearing their European accents and how they argued about who cleaned their house the best.
This year I called my cousin on New Years Eve to say hello, and started the conversation with, "I was thinking of our past New Years" and he immediately responded, "Stay off the davenport!" because that's all we heard when we were kids. My auntie had plastic on her couch (davenport) and plastic runners tacked down on the floor, and yet we were still told to stay off of them. How much damage can you really do to a couch covered in plastic?
I smiled at how glamorous my aunties always tried to be. I miss the days when people would go all out making appetizers (with pimientos, because every food in the 60s seemed to have them) and dress up in suits and dresses just to go to someone's house.
Days like this:
Where my grandma and grandpa look like they just came back from a wedding. In reality, they were celebrating Christmas (with a very bewildered looking Cherie). Those "glamorous" days and dishes inspired me to start my Kitschy Cuisine blog.
In fact, I wrote a special post about pimientos.
What was it about them anyways? They were in everything.
But times and traditions change. By the time I had met my husband we had both been through a lot of New Years parties, a lot of celebrating, and on our first New Years together we decided to start a new tradition and do a movie night where we stayed inside. We've had theme movie nights (Bogie movies, Cary Grant), silly movie nights, and nights where we purposely tried to watched the "worst" movies we could find. There is an art to making a truly "bad" movie that is good in all the right ways. You know?
We usually have apps or a light dinner followed by a French Yule log, complete with those crazy mushroom thingy's on it:
It's supposed to be lucky. **shrug**
We also write in our New Years book:
This year, we filled it up. Ten years of reflections going back to before we were actually married. It was wild to read through it, and even more wild to realize how fast time has gone by.
Another tradition? I work on New Year's Eve. I worked pretty much every day, but on New Years I like to wrap up major projects and make goals for the upcoming year. I create a loose "business plan" for my freelancing life right up until the time my hubby pokes his head in the office and says, "Let's have some fun." Thank God he does this or I might work through New Years and miss the fact that we crossed over into a new year.
Ten years ago I spent New Year's Eve prepping my first book, a collection of poetry called The Difference Now. It was a big deal for me because I had tore up all my writing before. So to have a collection of work that I held onto? It was growth. I still think of that night each New Years when I sent that manuscript in and then celebrated all that the New Year might bring. That's why we love the change of a new year so much. Really, it's no different than any other day, but yet, it holds possibility and promise. What will happen next?
One thing I know for sure, I love our new tradition, of snuggling in with the family and just appreciating the blessing we have of each other.