A tree my husband makes in our backyard. It gives a nice glow to a dark area. : )
Wow. A new year coming up! I say this all the time, but really, where did the time go? We had that April blizzard, then it was summer, then we were having our pumpkin party, Christmas has come and gone, and now a new year again. It seems to all run together.
I think what I'm missing is the "how" we used to do things. We used to celebrate the seasons in a more thoughtful way - the passing of time was spent in making it mean something. Now, it pretty much comes and goes without giving a lot of thought to it. Well, I'm hoping to change that a bit this upcoming 2019 (Lord willing). I know that even the best made plans can go awry but we can at least try.
There are a couple of ideas for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day that I wanted to share with you so that maybe you can try one or the other or both! The ideas are, of course, are dependent upon certain things.
New Year's Eve - this idea is one from my mother-in-law whom we miss very much because she had such good ideas for family celebrations. It really is true that when the matriarch of the family dies, the family kind of stops doing certain things. The idea is the Progressive Dinner. I think this is SO fun. You'll need to have three or four other families or friends houses to go to in order to make this work - so when I said it's dependent upon certain things, this is one of them. Let's say you have three houses participating:
*The first house would be responsible for the appetizers. Everyone gathers at the first house and enjoys appetizers and punch or soft drinks. Make it casual (I love it when everyone just stands around with a plate in their hands eating finger foods). You can enjoy conversation (it might be fun to have some conversation starters). This could last how ever long you want, but you can kind of tell when things are slowing down (maybe an hour or so?). The person who is responsible for the next course (the second house) will need to leave a little early so that they can get to their house and get everything ready for the "progression" of others coming over. : )
*The second house would be responsible for the main course. It would be wise to maybe have a crockpot meal, or a meal that can take a while in the oven, or even a great soup that can be heated up quickly and served with homemade bread and salads. Set a fun or beautiful table depending on what your serving. Decorate the house a bit to create a festive atmosphere and wait for everyone to come over! This will be a sit-down meal. Create a warm yet casual environment in which everyone can just sit and relax and enjoy a great meal. When things are beginning to wind down, the person who is responsible for the next course (dessert) will have to slip out and get to their house to get everything ready for the next progression of others coming over.
*The third house is for the dessert part of the meal. This can be very enjoyable because it's the end of the get-together. A lingering and winding down of the evening. Everyone participating will want to know what each house is serving so that the person who is doing the dessert will know whether or not the dessert can be on the heavier side or if it should be light. If the appetizers were light and the main course was soup, the dessert can be a little more like a special cake, but if there were quite a few appetizers served and the main course was spaghetti and everyone is already groaning a bit over how full they're getting, then maybe dessert could be a wonderful sorbet or a platter of cookies. This would also be served with a hot drink (decaf coffee, hot tea, spiced cider). Let this be a very casual time. Again, maybe have some more conversation starters around. Everyone is getting tired by now so make sure you don't plan any lively games but just let it play out and relax.
This really is SO fun to do. I know there are a few factors that go into it - it DOES need at least three other families to go in on it, it does take some planning (the houses should probably be in the same town - you don't want to drive a long distance to go from house to house), the weather is sometimes an issue (around here it's usually below zero on New Year's but it's not like we have horse and buggies anymore - cars warm up!), and sometimes people don't want to drag their children around (but I would encourage you to do this with the kids - it's fun for them and it's another teaching moment about get-together's and how to behave and act, and how to enjoy this life).
So if you can make this work I would highly suggest it as a fun way to bring in the new year!!!!! : )
New Year's Day - If you've chosen to not do anything on New Year's Eve, I would suggest doing something on New Year's Day. Again, around here the temperatures are SO very cold that the idea I'm suggesting might not happen outdoors but if you can, go for a walk somewhere. Take the family or call up some friends and find a nice place to walk. Take the camera. Really take the time to look - at the trees, the birds, and whatever else is there. Breathe in the fresh air. Afterwards (and we've only done this once) enjoy a winter picnic! Someone can bring a crock of hot chili, someone else can bring a pan of cornbread, and still another can bring thermos's of hot chocolate and cookies. Or, you may be the one to bring all of the above. But after your walk, when you get back to your car(s), pull out portable chairs and blankets and sit around enjoying a meal in the great outdoors!!!! It's VERY memorable and it will be something that you will talk about for years. : ) The children will think it's really fun.
And, if by chance the weather will not cooperate for this, you can set up your winter picnic in the living room. Serve the same food, only spread a blanket on the floor. : )
I guess the whole point I'm trying to make with these two ideas is that we all try to do something. I've said it before, but doing something is better than nothing. Life just passes us by and it's just so serious that we all need a bit of something different if only for an hour or two. You can definitely tweak the above ideas to fit your time and family needs. I hope you can give at least one of them a try!!!
That's it for today. Thank you so much for your visit. I hope you can enjoy this day. God bless.