Happy New Year!

We celebrated New Year's Eve in our traditional way:  hosting a big party for several families we know, some of whom we rarely get to see these days.  Our New Year's parties always follow the same format... everyone arrives sometime after dinner and brings whatever they want to share (or want to clear out of their house for the new year).  The hoards of children play around the house and enjoy the freedom of snacking on whatever is set out.  There were 29 children (if we can continue to call the younger generation by that name) this year... 18 months all the way to college, though briefly there were 30 because P18 called via Skype and we got to visit her in 2011 in Uganda for a while.  The older group squirrelled themselves away in a room and played board games while the younger set ran and yelled.  At least that's what my impression of their activities was.  The adults visit and eventually get themselves sorted out into a game of hearts.  Some of us are a bit more competitive than others and the game can be rather raucous.  I'm sure we were louder than then the board game playing group at times.

At midnight (or thereabouts... it's important to finish the hand of cards we're playing) we stop and celebrate the New Year.  One mother bought poppers this year and the adults had champagne and the under 18's had sparkling juice.  Then we sing all the verses to Auld Lang Syne... well, they sing and I hack away at it at the piano.  It's the only time I ever play it and usually by the last verse I've gotten in the correct key and somewhat remembered how it goes.  For some reason being surrounded by the same friends, singing the same song to mark another year always makes me a little teary, and I always say a prayer that we will all get to celebrate the next New Year's Eve together.

May 2011 bring peace and joy to each of your homes.  Happy New Year!


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