In “Fiddler on the Roof”, Tevye sings about tradition and the movie is based on the idea of tradition and the consequences of breaking with tradition.  Family traditions are the stuff of which memories are made and holidays are the times when many of us stick with traditions, some started by our parents or even grandparents.  We have plenty of family Christmas traditions,  but we also had an enjoyable, inexpensive and unique New Years Eve tradition.

For many years while the girls were younger, we camped out in the living room on New Years Eve.  The Christmas tree would still be up in one corner, festooned with lights and decorated with special ornaments.  For virtually very Christmas, the girls have each received at least one ornament, building up a store of beautiful memories to take with them someday to their own homes.

We always had a “meal” of hors d’oeuvres, a variety of tasty tidbits, as my mother-in-law used to say.  We’d get out sleeping bags and pillows, one of the adults sleeping on the old, but comfy couch while everyone else found spots on the floor.  I’d plug in the tree lights, turn off the overhead lights and all the lamps and then the sleepover atmosphere commenced–talking for ages, laughing, sometimes getting up and down.  This would go on for a long time, while the Christmas lights glowed gently.  Gradually, there would be more silence and less talk, sometimes followed by short bursts of conversation or laughter.  Finally, all would be still, the four of us sleeping silently under the lights of  Christmas, welcoming in the New Year with peaceful sleep.

One of the last years we camped out was Y2K, when fears were high that there might be huge problems brought on by a computer glitch.  Bill was a consultant at the time, so he worked all day and night, leaving the three of us to celebrate with an all-girls camp out.  The girls were older and resolved to stay away until the New Year, (something highly overrated in my experience.)  Shannon fell asleep, but Megan and I stayed awake until the final minutes approached, when we woke Shannon to join us in an anticlimactic moment before all going to sleep.  In the morning, we were happy to wake to no computer-related problems and a nice bit of extra money on the next paycheck.

Although we’re generally not all together on New Years Eve anymore, I’m tempted to suggest this Christmas that we all camp out in the living room on Christmas Day night instead.  I miss it!

  1. billgncs says:

    always enjoyed buying those Bryer horses as presents

  2. beebeesworld says:

    Very nice. memories of simple times, better times, mean a lot to me right now. Thanks! beebee

    • I see from flyoverhere’s blog that you haven’t been feeling well. I hope you’re doing better and will be back to normal soon!! Hopefully this helped, at least emotionally, in a small way. All the best and prayers for quick recovery.

  3. russtowne says:

    What a lovely family tradition! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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