31 December 2008

New Year's Traditions

New Year's Eve is one of those holidays which, for me, has changed drastically over the years. When I was young and unencumbered, it was all about finding the right party to ring in the new year.

My husband and I got married on New Year's Day - 17 years ago tomorrow. The night before our wedding, we spent New Year's Eve first having a rehearsal dinner, and then partying the night away with friends.

As the years went on and our children were young, we spent nearly every New Year's Eve in front of the television with Dick Clark. In fact, lucky us, we spent a few years in California where Dick Clark's New Year's Eve show ended at 9 p.m. After that, we could put the kids to bed and have a bit of adult time after that - you know, doing dishes, putting the dog out, and trying desperately to stay awake until midnight. It is our tradition to give each other Anniversary cards at midnight. Usually no gifts, as Christmas has just come and gone.

I have to admit, once we got to Maine, it felt more RIGHT to be celebrating the New Year with Dick Clark at the right time. Yes, didn't you know that East Coast time is the RIGHT time? Now you do. You're welcome.

Oh, and as an aside, I must say that I will always and forever associate New Year's Eve with Dick Clark. Even though he is only doing a cameo appearance now, and Ryan Seacrest has all but taken over, it is still the Dick Clark show, as far as I'm concerned. Dick Clark didn't age from the time that I was four-years-old until about two years ago, so for me, he is like the New Year's Eve god. In fact, I wonder if time would just stop on December 31 one year, if he didn't show up? A scary thought.

Moving on... a few years ago, we decided to do a Lord of the Rings marathon with the whole family. We started watching the first movie early in the day, and the plan was to finish the third movie about a half hour before midnight. Somehow it went longer than planned, what with breaks and all, but we did stop to cheer, kiss, and toast champagne at midnight, and then we watched the rest of the third movie the next day.

Another tradition we started at some point, was to do fondue for dinner on New Year's Eve. This one began before we got to Maine, but it has carried through each year. We usually just do beef fondue, but this year, we'll be doing shrimp as well. Fondue is one of those things that is such a novelty, if you only do it once a year. In fact, it usually takes all year for me to forget what a pain it is to drag the fondue pot out of the back of the cabinet over the refrigerator, set up the peanut oil, give up on Sterno for actually making it hot, and just put it on the stove in a huff. It also takes a whole year for me to forget about what a chore it is to clean the peanut oil out of the pot.

Gee, now I'm remembering. Do we really want to do this tonight?

This year, our son is away at school spending the night doing R.A. duty (though he'll be back home in a few days.) One of our daughters is going to a party at a neighbor's home. So hubby and I will spend the evening at home with our other daughter,... probably watching The Lord of the Rings. We have enough fondue trappings for the whole family, but it will only be the three of us, so we might even set it up on the coffee table and watch our movie while dipping the fondue meats. Then again, that sounds messy. Peanut oil on the rug? Hmmm.

The really cool thing, which also seems to be becoming a tradition, is that it's supposed to snow tonight. Ok, I know this is not a tradition I can control, but hey, I'll take it.

Happy Maine New Year, Friends!

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes


Connie said...

Paulla, Nicole went to a party and called us when she got there. Before she left we talked about the "ball dropping" Bob couldn't care less and is not sure he has ever seen it. We are sure he was causing some mayhem when he should have been watching said ball. My plan is to take Benadryl and put earplugs in by 930 as I have to work tomorrow! Love, Connie

Paulla said...

Hi Connie ~ that cracks me up about Bob... how can he never have seen the ball drop?

Happy New Year from the future. :)

gardenpath said...

We haven't done fondue in years! Maybe we will start that tradition too.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Peggy said...

Wow, Paulla! Sounds like you have great New Year's memories. Can relate closely to how the New Year's celebration has changed over the years. Happy New Year. Peggy (Family Screen Scene)

Paulla said...

Hey Peggy! Good to "see" you. How are things up in your northern area? Probably about as cold as it is here. How are things going?

Anonymous said...

you rock girl....

jessica said...

Nice blog...
Thanks for sharing with us..

Get 28 movie channels for 3 months free