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Celebrating in our own ways

The Mommy Chronicles

December 30, 2011
Anne Blankenship and Hans Madsen ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

I've never been fond of celebrating New Year's Eve. OK, I went to a few parties back in my college days. But in recent years, staying in with family and friends has always been more appealing.

I haven't had really good luck with New Year's parties. One year, before I was married, a friend and I went to hear a band in Fort Dodge. The two of us brought the median age of dance hall down by about 35 years. Then on the way home, we had a tire blow out between Fort Dodge and Duncombe. That wasn't much fun.

Then later, when Larry and I were dating, we were supposed to go to a big gala event in Des Moines but an ice storm prevented me from getting there. So instead, Larry and I talked on the telephone for hours. We may have missed the gala, but we had a great time just talking. We even watched the same movie together.

Article Photos

Anne Blankenship

Daniel is excited about staying up late on Saturday night to watch the new year come in. I told him he could stay up until the ball drops in Time Square. He readily agreed, giving me a "high five" at his good fortune. I didn't have the heart to remind him that the new year in Times Square comes an hour before it hits Webster City. Score one for mom.

My mother hosted an annual New Year's Eve soiree for her grandchildren when they were small. She looked forward to it and planned a menu of snacks and fizzy punch. She brought out all of their favorite board games and coloring books. The five grandchildren, all in their fuzzy-footed pajamas, would lay around in front of the fire place playing and coloring. Then just before 11 p.m., Grandma and?Grandpa would turn on the television just in time to see the ball drop in New York. Then my mom, with her brightest red lipstick, would tell the kids it was a tradition to give someone a kiss at midnight. Then she would plant a big sloppy kiss on each child's forehead. The littlest one, Mikey, would giggle and laugh and run around the room. It became a game every year. Grandma would make a great play at chasing him, but he would always let her catch him and give him a big hug and a kiss. We have a great picture of all the grandchildren, standing in line with their pjs and a kiss print on their foreheads. It's hard to believe that her grandchildren are all in their 30s and 40s now with children of their own.

This New Year's Eve, I'm looking forward to having a nice dinner with my two favorite guys, then playing some board games and laughing together. We plan to talk about our resolutions for the coming year. We're and dream a little for things to come in the new year. Then maybe we'll all sit down to watch an old movie together.

I realize that may sound like a boring evening to some. But given the choice between a night with my guys or a crowded, noisy, alcohol-infused party, I'm very happy with my plans.

This New Year's Eve, I hope you all can spend time with those people who make you truly happy.

Here's wishing all of you a safe and very happy new year.



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