Contrary to the throngs of Time-Square-pounding, diamond-clad, smoky-eyed, horn-blowing ladies waving their champagne flutes to the thumping beat of the Black Eyed Peas, I was at home this New Year’s Eve wearing hoops and yoga pants, sporting mascara-free lashes and thumping–ok, humming–to the sultry beats of 40′s jazz that I got for free at a wedding reception.
No Dick Clark, no Ryan Seacrest, no Kathy Griffith. Instead, my husband and our kids.
For the past three years on New Year’s Eve, we’ve stayed home, opting to forego the hassle of babysitters and overpriced parties. We turn off the lights, set candles aflame, and celebrate the gift of another year together.
Our night begins around 6:30 with appetizers: this year we made our favorite jalapeno popper recipe from my neighbor. We pulled porterhouses and sizzlers from the freezer [we did our kids the favor of giving them the steak "without the bone." Such a sacrifice...], chopped and roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, made salads, and prepared dipping sauce for the warm french baguette. With sparkling grape juice on ice, we pulled everything together for dinner in our pajamas–always a hit!
After dinner we dug out our special memory journal and read aloud the memories we wrote last year, sighing and smiling at the mention of things long forgotten; things that might seen insignificant and trivial to those on the outside looking in, but precious and treasured to those of us storing them inside our hearts. We went around the table and shared our favorite memories for 2010, adding them to the annals, and then set goals for the New Year.
While I’m not naive to the possibility of this all shriveling away at the onset of dating high school gatherings, I hope that these nights will always be special to our kids. I hope that they’ll remember staying up late when they were 5 and 7 and 8, and consider the fun we had and the kooky things we did together. I tell myself we’re doing it for them–to build strong bonds and strengthen the love that holds us together. But really, maybe I’m doing it for myself. So in those moments of change and doors closing behind teenagers, I’ll have memories like this for myself.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
Stuff 2011 with all the memories you can!