Although, it hardly seems possible, we are days away from New Year’s Eve, 2016. This day has always been a sorrowful joy for me – sorrowful, because one of my brothers died on that day back in 1978 – joyful because I am thankful for my blessings and look forward to making new memories with my family.
We, like millions of other folks across the nation, stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year. Our family loves “tradition” so we pretty much do the same thing every year, but everyone really loves it and I guarantee if we tried to change things up, the kids would launch a mutiny.
Our children have taught us that we don’t need to spend oodles of money and travel to extravagant places to have a great time together. We can party-hardy right here at home. Here are some of our favorite New Year’s Eve traditions:
- Family Game Night: From card games to Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, and more, we play games throughout the day (and night) — this year, I have a feeling everyone will be enjoying some friendly competition at the new air hockey/table tennis (ping pong, where I come from) table they got for Christmas!
- Family Movie Night: Whether we enjoy an old favorite or watch something none of us has seen before, there’s always time for blankets, hot cider, snacks and movies!
- Clam Dip: Since I was a child, my mother would make a special snack each year and I have carried on the tradition with my own family. Basically, this yummy dip is made with crushed crackers, clams, onion, butter and lemon juice. It’s baked to a golden brown and spread on crackers. We only make this on New Year’s Eve so it’s special every time!
- Firearms at Midnight: My husband always fires a few shots off at the stroke of midnight, which is answered by many other shots in the distant dark from neighbors who are doing the same. (Fear not, we live in the woods in a remote area.)
- Call my mother: Since I moved away from home when I was young, I have called my parents (now, just my mother since my dad has gone to his eternal rest) at midnight. She is 89 years old and still waits up for that call! As soon as I hang up the phone, four of our 10 kids who have grown and moved on call us just as I call my mother. It’s a string of moments we greatly treasure.
- The Lord’s Prayer: As soon as our phone calls are done, we drink a little bubbly cheer, then pray The Lord’s Prayer together as a family.
Each year has its pleasures, challenges, successes, failures, lessons and sacred moments. Our simple, yet cherished New Year’s Eve traditions remind us that God, family and love are the greatest gifts in life.
Do you have any special New Year’s Eve traditions?
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.