Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Traditions

I like having traditions. I feel like we had a lot of traditions when I was growing up. So, now that I have a family, I am doing my best to establish traditions for us.

When I was a kid, I seem to recall that one of your New Year's Eve traditions was to go to dinner at whatever fast food location we wanted. We would use up the miscellaneous free coupons that we had gotten at Halloween, summer reading club and what not, as well as discount coupons. Then, I can remember babysitters who would have us go out on the front porch with pots and pans to clank together at midnight.

When we were dating and first married, my husband and I spent New Year's Eve at our friend's house. We would all gather to play games and celebrate and then, responsibly, we would all stay there. Despite our conversations about how fun it would be when we all had kids and still got together for New Year's, the annual gatherings essentially fizzled upon the birth of the first baby in the group. There was one last gathering at another friend's place, but it was smaller and didn't repeat the next year.

Now that we have kids, we have started our own traditions (although, they mostly occur before the hour of 8 pm). Every New Year's Eve for the past three or more years, we have gone to lunch at the local Mexican place (our favorite) and then went bowling as a family. In some years, we have friends join us and in other years it is just us. Then, we come home and hang out.

Our dinner on New Year's Eve is a collection of appetizers and finger foods. Many years, I make some Crab Cakes and have cocktail shrimp, as well as Bagel Bite, Pizza Rolls, Chicken Nuggets and other kid favorites. We have mini desserts too. Again, these festivities are sometimes joined by friends and other times it is just the four of us.

Then, at 7:29 pm, we start our own countdown to 7:30 pm to celebrate the new year and toast some sparkling fruit juice (in fancy glasses). After that, the kids head off to bed.

This year, my son, who is 8, is giving his first go at staying up to midnight. I'm not sure he will make it, but if he stays busy, he just might.

The other tradition at my house, is one from my childhood, and that is Pork Roast and Sauerkraut for dinner on New Year's Day. My understanding is that it is supposed to bring prosperity in the new year or good luck and good fortune for the new year. With my husband not being a fan of pork roast or sauerkraut, I have had to modify and prepare pork chops and mashed potatoes with a side of sauerkraut. I still get the pork and sauerkraut and only have to make one meal that way.

What are your New Year's traditions?


debbielynne said...

I grew up with pork and sauerkraut too. My husband is not a fan either so it's the same meal for us today. Pork chops, mashed potatoes, and a side of kraut just for me! Hapy New Year!