Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What are you doin' New Years....

My mom called me on the phone today, asking about the grocery bag she left at our house on Christmas Day. She wondered if we might stop by tomorrow sometime for crackers and cheese (and oh, by the way, drop off the grocery bag).

I asked her about the Annual New Years' Eve Party they always go to. One of their friends is going to pick them up so they can go tonight.

They have been getting together with the same group of couples for New Years' Eve for around 50 years. They were all member of the same Young Couples Group, called the "Merry Mates", back in the 1950s.

It was a church thing.

Back then, they didn't just have New Years' Eve parties, of course. They got together throughout the year at various times. Some of their get-togethers were just for adults, and some included the whole family. I especially enjoyed the Christmas parties where all of the kids went caroling together. We also went camping with some of the families.

Now they all go to different churches. They don't see each other so very often, although they are still especially good friends with three of the couples.

But they still get together every New Year's Eve.

It's a pretty low-key party: games, food, maybe one glass of champagne at midnight. But they always have someplace to go, and someone to be with on New Year's Eve.

I find myself envying that. I envy the sense of tradition; I would like to have a place to go every New Year's Eve. And low key would really work for me.

But most of all, I envy the friendship. They have friends that they have travelled together with for over 50 years. That's something, in this day and age.

And I can't help thinking that it lends some perspective to ushering out the old year and ushering in the new one.

At the grocery store this morning, my check out person (who knows I am a pastor), asked if we had anything special for the youth on New Year's Eve. I had to admit that we do not, although I think it's a fine idea.

She went on to reminisce about her experiences as a young person. They spent all evening in the church. There was worship and a party and worship again, for all ages. The next day the youth went sledding. I had to admit, it sounded pretty fun to me too.

We are going out to eat this year, just the two of us, and then watching movies at home. Maybe we'll get a party hat for Scout, too.

So, what are you doing? Do you have special plans or traditions?


Gannet Girl said...

We are pretty much in the same vein as your parents, although we are only at 20 years with our group of friends. We will be awfully old if we last 30 more!

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I'll admit it, we'll be home. We're boring on New Years eve. Maybe a video...

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

We always stay home on New Year's Eve. We have an assortment of cheeses and meats and French bread and crackers and strawberries . . . and decent champagne. And we watch movies.

Ivy said...

We're usually at home and watch the Boston Pops. This year we're at Ray's brothers' and we were all in bed by 10:30, having done our toast around 10 because we were all falling asleep. It was very relaxing though.

Lauralew said...

We stay home also. Last night we had some bubbly and snacks, and watched the concert at Lincoln Center on TV. We are pretty boring, but we like it.

Barbara B. said...

We usually get together with another family -- but it didn't work out this year so we stayed home and watched a DVD.

Rev SS said...

I'm with you, Diane.

I envy your parents (in the married/first half of my adult life our circle of friends always spent new year's eve together in one of our homes this way)

and the days when we spent New Years Eve at Church.

(My home church has the tradition of getting together for a sharing worship service, where attendees share the joys and sorrows of the past year, pray and sing together, then go to one or more members' homes for food and fellowship to bring in the new year. I miss that!)

Kievas said...

Happy New Year! We usually stay hame and stay warm.

Border Explorer said...

Happy new year! We don't do much of anything, being impressed by a Buddhist poem that went something like:
"New year's day. Just another day. Like any other."

Or something like that. It got me thinking about the artifice of time divisions...much like the artifice of political boundaries or borders. Well, we're not party-poopers, but we don't feel obliged to join the crowd either.

Hope you have a blessed 2009! You enrich my life in so many ways. Thanks...always thanks.

Orangehouse said...

Hi, found your blog today. This new years eve, I went to a party primarily attended by engineering professors! There was not exactly a line at the door, but we had fun anyway. My wife and boys went to bed shortly after midnight, but I stayed up reading "Peace Like A River" until after 6:00 AM!

I finished it the next day and soon added it to my list of favorite books, which is, of course, how I found your blog.

Wasn't "Peace Like A River" a beautifully written book? I loved the writing.

Keep blogging, reading, and serving Christ!

Lindy said...

I know what you mean about tradition envy. I sometimes wonder how it is for people who've lived in the same place all their lives. I imagine that they have a different sense of themselves. I don't know, maybe they envy me my adventures. But, I would like to know what it feels like to have a history in a place with the same people for decades on end. I just wonder.