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Flashback Friday ~ Auld Lang Syne

Welcome to the
Auld Lang Syne Edition
of Flashback Friday.

Flashback Friday is the brain child of Linda from Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time to the days of our youth. Linda says, This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been! This week Linda wants to know:

How did your family celebrate New Year’s when you were growing up? Was staying up on New Year’s Eve a big deal? Was it a date night for your parents or was it a family occasion? Did your family have any particular traditions for New Year’s? Were resolutions emphasized? Did you do fireworks? Watch parades or bowl games? Were there church activities you attended? Did Christmas activities extend into the new year? Was the Epiphany a focus?

We did not celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family. When I was a child Gram and I were usually at my aunt’s and Uncle’s house for the occasion. The adults might have had a drink or two, but only my uncle ever had too much, and we kids never saw or heard the drinking. It didn’t start until after we went to sleep.

When I got older — old enough to baby-sit — I was always in high demand on New Year’s Eve and stayed in so other’s could go out. Even as a young adult I wasn’t all that keen on going out where everybody was drinking too much and acting stupid. I grew up with the motto “Start the way you plan to continue” and I really didn’t want to start the New Year drunk. I seemed like a bad omen.

Of course there was the New Year’s Resolution thing. My step-mom used to make everybody share their’s at breakfast New Year’s morning. I don’t believe they were ever mentioned again after that. I guess we aren’t very resolute people.

I was an adult before I knew that fireworks and New Year’s Eve went together. It not only wasn’t a tradition in my family, it wasn’t a tradition in my region. I have to tell you that after last year in Hawaii, it isn’t a tradition I like. I have asthma and our house filled with sulfur smoke. There was no where I could go to escape the fumes. And the noise was horrendous — not only that it lasted for days. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day being the worse.

My Uncle was a football fanatic. I hated New Year’s Day in his home. Patricia and I were not allowed to watch the game because we were girls, and we weren’t allowed to talk or play, either. We had to sit still and silent. I would read but it just about killed Patricia and she would carry on and whine until we were both in trouble. When I got old enough, I refused to go to my Aunt’s house for the holiday.

I don’t recall any church activities related to New Year’s.  I do remember Epiphany Sunday existing, but other than it always being a Communion service and the sermon being about Epiphany, I don’t recall any special tradition or event.  Sorry.  I know I was boring this week. I’ll try to do better next time.


  1. wow, it really took me back that you were not only not allowed to watch the game but couldn’t do anything else either…..ugh! Did you aunt and uncle have any kids?

    Happy New Year to you!

    1. Sara — the “Patricia” who wasn’t allowed to watch either was their daughter. their two sons were in the living room watching the game with their dad.

  2. The only year we attended a NYE function at church (which was pretty neat — we brought in the new year with communion and worship) was also the year I was exhausted from working a long post-Christmas week at my retail cashiering job. We got home at 12:30am and I promptly was sick to my stomach. No alcohol was involved… just exhaustion and possibly too much sugar during the evening of snacks and board games.

    As a child, we sat around and watched Dick Clark’s New Year on TV and then heard the neighbors setting off midnight fireworks for about 5 minutes. As an adult, doing the same thing feels terribly anti-climatic… but going to bed at 10pm makes me feel like a dud.

    When we lived in Germany, one of the neighbors hosted a fondue supper that started around 8:30pm. At midnight, we’d go outside and light off bottle rockets from our empty wine bottles nestled in the snow. Everyone would greet one another with “Happy New Year!” and it felt wonderfully cozy. I’d happily recreate that experience.

    1. When I lived in Vegas some family friends used to have open house on New Years Day. They would FILL the place with Filipino foods and invite in all their friends. I miss the warmth and camaraderie of that gathering — I miss some of the food, too — but mostly I miss the friends gathered together to laugh and share their favorite memories of the past year.

  3. You weren’t boring! I was amazed that you weren’t allowed to watch the game because you were a girl, not to mention they wouldn’t let you do anything else!

    I’m with kcinnova – staying up ’til midnight is anti-climactic for me, but going to bed early feels like a dud. I really wish the churches still did the Watch Night services.

    1. Linda — we could do anything we wanted to as long as we were quiet and still. The game was on at 100 decibels but apparently we blinked our eyes to loud it distracted the (male) viewers.

  4. I like fireworks at a minimum — I wouldn’t like it when it’s so smoky you can’t breathe or so noisy you can’t think. I like the ones that make pretty designs, not the ones that just make noise.

    I think New Year’s is probably the least traditional holiday.

    1. Barbara — Asian custom is to make a LOUD noise to scare all of the evil spirits away so that they — or any bad luck — couldn’t follow one into the new year. There are very few “pretty” fireworks in Hawaii on NYE. Alas.

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