How Do You Ring In the New Year?

Do you ring out the old year or ring in the new? I guess it doesn’t matter, since both happen in the same moment. I think the bigger question is this: will I still be awake when the clock strikes 12?

I used to ring in the new year with my brothers and sisters, parents optional. Whether mom or dad were staying in or going out to celebrate with their friends, mom provided us with appetizers and punch. Served in a real punch bowl. The pressed glass kind that came with hooks so you could hang the cups from the sides. The kind you could buy for a few bucks at the dime store and can find on E-bay now for around $35. The “appetizers” were basically cheese and crackers (one year there was a crock of port wine cheese that she forgot to serve at Christmas) and Chex snack mix. Definitely not gourmet fare, but we felt so grown up munching on our snacks and ladling punch into our “crystal” cups.

When I became a tween, hanging out with my friends and staying up way past midnight was the thing. That didn’t really change for the next twenty years, although the location changed from parties in our parent’s homes to clubs and then back to parties, this time in our own homes. They started as big affairs, with streamers and confetti and party hats, then we took things down a notch or two, but this year I’ve decided to host a party, and I’ll break out some classy decorations, like the acrylic numbers we used in the photo above, to welcome my guests. (I just wish I knew a ’23 grad so I could get even more use out of them, but my nephew will be turning two in April, so I’m already looking for ways to incorporate them into his celebration…)

There’ll be a few tweens attending, so I’ll be setting up a spot where they can hang out and play games. I think I’ll print out this banner we designed a few years back, and I’ll be serving them appetizers and punch. The punch bowl was destroyed years ago in an accident I try not to think about, but I got the punch recipe from mom.  My snack mix will be store-bought instead of home-made, but I might try my hand at a cheeseball!

However you plan to spend the evening, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

Oh, and here’s the recipe for mom’s awesome punch:

Golden Glow Punch

1 6-oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 6-oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 6-oz. can frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

2 cups cold water

1 2-liter bottle ginger ale, chilled

Combine the water and juices in a large non-metal pitcher (or punch bowl) and stir well. Just before serving add ginger ale and ice.

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