Long gone are the days when we would venture out for New Year’s Eve and stay until the ball drop. Usually, those days took place in our college town or a friend’s home, but we did watch the ball drop once in Times Square. It was the countdown to 2008 and we had just gotten married. He’s truly the only one I would be herded like cattle with in the cold for that many hours.
More recently, New Year’s Eve has looked like cuddling and watching movies.
Sometimes just our crew. A few years ago, our daughter forced me to stay awake until midnight as we played card games at a hotel with extended family.
This past year, though, was one for the books. We live far from family and invited another military family over somewhat last minute to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us. They said yes quickly, but with one request: their kids had already planned a night of competitive family games and wanted us to join in.
As they arrived, their kids unloaded homemade contraptions, marbles, and other game pieces. We ate a meal together. And then they set up stations and split the families into multiple teams, adults included. It was a riot. They had timers going and there was yelling. Cheering for each other and so much laughter. I’m still not sure I understand what half the games were. But I do understand and cherish the level of joy they brought into our space that night.
I’m not sure what this New Year’s Eve holds. That sweet family has since relocated. But I do know I am all in for New Year’s Eve being a family affair.