When I was growing up, New Year’s Eve was a few cousins coming over after dinner for a few games of Hearts, finger foods and my mom’s kahlua milkshakes – the one time of the year the kids could have alcohol. The fireplace was burning and Dick Clark was on the TV as the time counted down and us kids tried to stay awake to watch the ball drop.
Every year, I always spent New Year’s Eve with family, even when I was old enough to go out with friends. I liked it that way. It was a safe, warm place to be, with loved ones, and in the older teen/early 20’s there were more adult games, the cards turned from Hearts to Poker, the alcohol drinks got stronger and greater quantity, but New Year’s has always been about being with loved ones.
My little family of three started our own New Year’s traditions about a decade ago. It didn’t begin by us saying we needed to make a tradition, but I realized this year, with my daughter at 17, asking if we were getting our veggies and shrimp on New Year’s Eve, that inadvertently, I’d made a New Year’s tradition by accident.
For ten years, my husband has worked as a security guard. In ten years, I cannot recall one year he was home for New Year’s Eve. Our tradition started when the kiddo was old enough to know the night should be special, but we had absolutely no extra money to “do” anything. My daughter loves fresh veggies and homemade Hidden Valley Ranch drip. And the one thing we had very rarely at the time was shrimp, because we just couldn’t afford it. I happened to be in the grocery store and saw one of those little, cheap shrimp rings for around $4, and thought the kiddo would love that. And I’ve always bought a lot of veggies, but that night I just cut it up, put it in a big serving bowl – the special item being some cherry tomatoes that I splurged on – and let her have a whole container of dip.
In the next few years we added a little relish tray with pickle spears and green olives, and cheese – all my kiddo’s favorites.
New Year’s Eve day 2014 found me in the grocery store, picking up all the items for our little snack feast. The kiddo got all her favorites, and when she was with me in the store, she pointed out some king crab legs that were on sale. She doesn’t like crab, but she told me I deserved the treat, which almost made me cry. I also bought the little brie cheeses for me, because I deserve that too.
The hubby was actually home this year, to spend the evening with us and our feast, before he heads off to work.
I hope you have your own traditions. Big family or small, or even if you’re by yourself. Even if it’s something little, a treat is a treat is a treat.
Happy New Year!