When I asked friends, family, acquaintances and strangers what they do on New Years Eve, I got some fun, unique and traditional ideas.
Pots and Pans
Three friends had similar traditions – They had a party at their house with snacks for the kids and adults and all the tv’s in the house on whether it be Time’s Square or a movie. Right before midnight, they grab all the pots and pans from the house (and the ones friends brought over), get their coats and congregate outside on the front lawn. When the clock counts down to 1, and it is officially midnight, they clang and bang those pots as loud as they can.
I learned that this is actually a tradition that has been around for quite a while for a lot of families. Apparently loud noises ward off evil, so banging the pots for the new year is a way to make sure you don’t start out on the wrong foot. When I asked some of their kids if that was why they did it, they just said they liked to make noise!
Two friends who live in different states, and that I have not seen in a few years, both said they had fancy dinner parties. They get very dressed up, sometimes Black Tie, invite 6 to 7 couples over (they have older children), and have cocktails around 9pm, and then they sit down to a gourmet feast starting at 10pm. By the time they are finished and have had dessert, midnight is usually upon them. They toast with the traditional champagne. Yum!
One friend says she and her husband have gone to the same nightclub year after year. They take a cab there, have dinner, whatever the special is that year, play pool or darts until midnight, then toast with the complimentary champagne the bar hands out. Soon after, they take a cab home, tell each other they love each other and go to sleep. Plain, simple and really almost charming.
My parents have not done this in a while, but if they did not have a party, they would have a few friends over, late in the evening. They would get 2lb lobsters for each person, 2 lbs of shrimp to share, and expensive beer. At midnight, they would toast with very expensive champagne and a fun dessert like chocolate covered strawberries or something that required a flame. They figured, why no go all out once a year.
A second cousin of mine told me that each year she and her husband eat 12 grapes at midnight. She married a man from Spain, and according to him, this is a Spanish tradition. By eating the twelve grapes they are making sure that they have twelve months of happiness. Sounds nice and simple to me.
Acquaintances and Strangers:
When I asked a couple of the moms I see around at dance classes and school functions what they did on New Years, three of them told me they stayed home with their families. No friends or guests. They watched movies with the kids, played games, and if they all made it to midnight, had sparkling grape juice or hot chocolate to celebrate. Very homey and warm.
A couple of people I talked to in a Supermarket, in different parts of the stores, both said they same thing: New Years Eve is party time! They go out to a night club that is having a special night or over to a big party at a friends house. Both people had been to New York to see the ball drop in Times Square because they both said it was sort of a bucket list thing to do. They both wanted to eat a lot, drink a lot, dance a lot and in general just party all night long, way past midnight. God bless ’em!
Whatever your tradition, enjoy and be safe.