…And a Happy New Year!

I never really enjoyed New Year’s Eve, mostly just because I’m not a partier (shocking, I know) and what else is there to do? Plus, I usually have bad luck that day, such as:

  • When I was 16 I was closing at Hogi Yogi and right before my fellow employees and I were about to leave (maybe 10:45pm?) the owner walked in mad and told us it wasn’t clean enough to leave. She proceeded to give me a mopping lesson which I still remember but don’t ever do myself (4×4 area, then rinse, then repeat) and the other employees lessons of their own. We had to stay until she was happy, at 11:45pm. What good is that on New Year’s Eve?? 
  • I’ll tell you what good that is! That same night I drove downtown to meet some friends before heading to a party. Being newly licensed, I figured no one would care if I parked wherever I darn well please. Sign? What sign? So I parked at Chevron and headed to a party. When I came back after a couple of hours my car had been impounded. Another day and $200 later, I got my dusty rose Chevy Caravelle back. 
  • There have been 2 New Year’s Eves that Rob and I just bounced crying babies. That’s always fun, but even more so on holidays.
  • I get annoyed by all the past year’s reflections on tv and online. Who cares? It’s over. Move on.
  • I feel guilty over all the things I can list as resolutions and usually don’t resolve to do anything just so I don’t fall into the pit of despair when I ultimately fail at everything.
  • Have I mentioned I don’t like parties? But there’s nothing else to do on New Year’s Eve so I’m either stuck going to a party or stuck home, bored, pretending it’s just another one of the 364 nights of the year. Really, it’s a lose/lose situation for me.
Enter this year:
I decided to take the kids to Noon Year’s Eve at Boondocks. It was fun, but ultimately disappointing for the cost. Rob got off work late and arrived home at 7pm. We headed to dinner. I had free coupons! But, oops, that restaurant no longer exists. Option 2? Closed. Uh, oh. Was this going to be another epic New Year’s Eve fail??
Restaurant option 3? Culver’s was open. Phew! At least we’d get frozen custard!

Next stop was back home. I had quickly pulled together an idea for a family activity. On Pinterest, I had seen a list of traditional New Year’s …uh…traditions… from around the world.  Who knows if any of them are actually true but for my purposes they are factual.

I decided on 10 traditions that would be silly and easy for the kids to do. I wrote down those countries on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. Each kid took a turn picking out a country, finding it on the globe, and then they all acted out the tradition. Examples are:

China: They hide knives so that nobody cuts themselves, as it is thought that it will bring bad luck on the family for the coming year. We found butter knives in cereal bags, the cat food box, inside cups, etc for the next 2 days.
Philippines: They toss coins into a pan.
Japan: They ring bells 108 times.
Burma: They splashed water on each other in order to start the new year with a purified soul.
Russia: They write down a wish, burn it, throw it into their drink…then drink it (we didn’t do that part).
Greece: They hang an onion from the front door.
Turkey: They sprinkle salt on their doorstep.
Ireland: They bang bread against the wall to ward off evil spirits (the kids LOVED this one!).
Puerto Rico: They throw a pail of water out the window to chase away evil spirits.
Peru: They have a good old-fashioned fist fight to settle differences and wipe the slate clean for the new year. Yep, we did this!

As you can imagine, the kids ADORED this activity. It didn’t require any advanced preparation on my part and Rob and I had a blast watching the kids laugh so hard!

After this, we watched half of ET, all of Inside Out, and by then it was time for midnight. Madeleine found a bag of confetti in the party cupboard and we all threw up a handful at the end of our countdown.

Honestly, it was all slightly magical, I will admit. It’s so much fun seeing the holiday in a whole new light through my children’s eyes. Plus, my kids STILL talk about all the funny things they did to celebrate! Now that’s a win/win!

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