New Year’s Eve Traditions

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.


J making the steak marinate.

Mushrooms and zucchini tossed in EVOO and seasonings


China and crystal...and candles suspended in rice because I don't have the right kind of candleholders!


Thanks to the kind gift from a friend, we each had wine glass jewels!


"A" preparing the dipping sauce


Daddy pouring the Sparkling White Grape Juice...made in Michigan!


Smiling brothers 🙂


Celebrating with cupcakes!







Happy New Year, Everyone!

Stuff 2011 with all the memories you can!



This entry was posted in Faith, Family, Food, Friends, Gifts, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to New Year’s Eve Traditions

  1. mdy says:

    What a wonderful tradition, J. You must grab everything you can…remember how old my boys are now…and we are enjoying pics and those mementos whenever we can. Blessings on the five of you!! Happy New Year!!

  2. Lyndsey says:

    Love it, Janie! Thanks for letting us steal the idea! I’ll try to send you a pick of our 2nd annual New Years fancy pants dinner. The kids are loving it. And I can’t wait for your new “helpful” blog to share all of your brilliant Family Fun night ideas!

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