Friday, December 30, 2016

Ringing in the New Year

Is it sad to admit that I’ve never attended a big New Year’s Eve party? It’s just not my thing. I don’t drink so it’s not surprising, at least not to me. New Year’s Eve has always been a low-key event for me. We usually go out to dinner then come home and spend the night in front of the television. When my boys were younger, we’d go to Blockbusters and rent a couple of movies to watch. I’d make finger foods to snack on, although we never ate much of them. Most of us were still full from dinner so I stopped doing that. I did go all out for the year 2000 though. On the way home from dinner, we stopped and bought fireworks, something I’d never waste my money on any other time. I figured we’d only see a century change once in our lifetime so we might as well celebrate it. On December 31, 1999, we all went outside at midnight and set off the fireworks. And that was probably the only time anyone went outside with me at midnight. For many years, it was just me, myself, and I outside ringing in the new year with my noisemakers of choice—a kitchen pot and wooden spoon. When the boys were really young, they’d fall asleep before midnight and I wouldn’t want to wake them up. Then as they got older, they said I was embarrassing them and they wanted no part of it. Even Charlie wouldn’t go outside with me. So as the clock ticked down, I’d step outside and when midnight struck, I’d beat the pot with my wooden spoon as hard as I could for at least a minute. I was usually the only person in the neighborhood making any noise so I’m sure my neighbors weren’t happy with me, but no one ever complained. After all, it was New Year’s. People expected noise at midnight.

As it turns out, I’ve been carrying on a family tradition started years ago by my Mama. I mentioned to her one year what fun I had the night before ringing in the New Year and she told me that we used to do the same thing when we were growing up. I didn’t remember that but it must have been hidden somewhere in the depths of my memory. Why else would I have chosen this method to ring in the New Year?

So, as we bid farewell to 2016, once again, I’m sure I’ll be the only member of this Murphy family in my front yard ringing in 2017. I don’t want to break a tradition! I hope you’re able to carry on whatever family tradition you have with your loved ones. And if you don’t have a family tradition, it’s not too late to start one! Happy New Year everyone!

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