Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Family New Year

Happy New Year!

So I almost didn't get a New Year post. We were all in recovery mode yesterday. From a crazy night of drinking and dancing and out-of-control partying? Not really. More just from staying up past our bedtimes.

It's astonishing how much things have changed in just a few short years.

It wasn't too long ago when New Year's Eve meant getting all jazzed up in a sexy, slightly slutty new dress and hot high heels and hitting the clubs for a long, glittery, boozy night of partying. New Year's Day meant waking up mid-afternoon with a desperate hangover and spotty memories.

Fast-forward a few years from twenty-something to thirty-something and New Year's Eve finds us at home with the kids. The sexy sequined dress and four-inch stilettos have been replaced by jeans and a sweater. The throbbing bass and pulsing lights and thousands of sweaty bodies on the dance floor have been replaced by Top Forty radio and a fire in the living room. We still do party hats and noisemakers and confetti cannons at midnight and we put on our own little fireworks display in the backyard - it's just on a slightly smaller scale.

All right - not quite midnight. We tell the kids that they can stay up until midnight, but we fake it - a couple of times throughout the day we move the clock forward in half-hour increments. So by the time "midnight" hits, the kids believe it absolutely, we do our countdown, and my husband and I still get to ring in the new year as grown-ups just the two of us.

We make up a bunch of platters of fun, nibbly food - shrimp, brie, chicken wings, mini-quiches, veggies & dip, crackers & cheese, egg rolls, sausage rolls, assorted phyllo-wrapped-somethings, and of course the usual plate of Christmas cookies. We turn the stereo to our favourite station and dance whenever our favourite songs come on. We turn on the Wii and have a bowling tournament. We play a couple of board games. And when "midnight" approaches we put on our party hats, grab our dollar-store noisemakers and confetti cannons, crank the music and count down to the new year. My husband pops the champagne and breaks out the good crystal and everyone gets a glass. We head out to the backyard and set off a few fireworks, we toast and cheer and dance in the streamer-and-confetti-filled living room, then we send the kids off to bed. By eleven o'clock my husband and I are curled up on the couch together with a glass of champagne and the concerts and countdown on TV and three kids fast asleep upstairs.

This year we took advantage of our alone time and it was almost four o'clock by the time we went to sleep.

The first kid was up before seven.

So this year our family's New Year's Day ended up looking much like the New Year's Days of our twenties, before the kiddies came along - no sleeping in, of course, but hours and hours curled up on the couch, copious quantities of coffee and comfort food, an all-day Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon and the whole day spent in slippers and jammies.

I can't think of a better way to ring in the new year than a family-friendly party with my three beautiful babies, a celebratory date night with the love of my life, and a whole day of lounging and lazing with my favourite people in the world.