Childhood: New Year’s Eve Traditions

new year's eve traditions

(In front of Red Mango on Church St.)

“When my mother and father were living, we’d all open presents and sit down at the table together and eat.”

Baristanet: You opened presents on New Years?

“Yes we did. My mother, father, grandparents, and sister. It was beautiful when they were alive, but now they’re no longer with me. We stayed up late, my parents had Champagne, and kids had ginger ale. I think it was a lovely thing that they did, you know. It was beautiful then.”



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  1. My parents and I would have dinner at Pals Cabin, and then drive around different neighborhoods and look at the Christmas lights.

  2. My childhood on New Year’s Eve went from being babysat to being a babysitter. When I was a kid, staying up late was the biggest treat in the world. I would watch the ball drop with the sitter, have a cup of tea with honey (just one!) and then off to bed. Somehow, I always had a ton of energy at 6 a.m. the next morning. My parents were none too thrilled!

    When I was a teenager, I could always get babysitting jobs on New Year’s Eve, which I loved because the pay was great (for back then, I think I got $2 an hour with a tip). Most of the kids I sat for were well-behaved and I let them stay up to watch the ball. Only a few gave me a hard time about going to sleep. Through it all, I could not wait until I was old enough to go out to the grown up clubs. I wasn’t even interested in drinking that much. I just wanted an excuse to dress up like a movie star.

    When I did become of age (18 was the legal drinking age when I was young), I was hit with sticker shock with how expensive most clubs were for New Year’s Eve. $25 a head, not including drinks. Loud, boring, and smoky (yes, smoking in clubs was legal). I went to a few in my day but usually couldn’t wait to get home right after midnight and hit the hay.

    If you’re a runner, a nice alternative to parties is the Midnight Run in Central Park, a four-mile run with champagne and fireworks. My husband and I did this a few times and it’s fun but the weather is always a crapshoot. One year, it was in the high 60s; others hit sub-zero temps.

    As I got older, I found that I liked intimate parties with close friends on NYE. And, that is what I do today, as an old married lady. Good friends, great food and drinks, a lit fireplace, and watching the ball drop on TV. Sounds good to me!

    Never once in my life did I get the urge to go to Times Square and stand with a gazillion people in the cold for hours.

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