Once upon a time, in a land before children, the thought of New Year’s Eve not spent in the pub was unthinkable.
Out in the local with friends, pressed up against the bar with hundreds of other sweaty bodies was the way to go. Then come midnight, grabbing random strangers for a New Year’s kiss and then the obligatory link of arms with the entire pub to the ‘Auld Lang Syne’ song as Big Ben finished chiming.
Anything else just wouldn’t have been New Year’s.
Now, we have different New Year’s Eve traditions. (It still involves some drink. Well it IS New Year. Isn’t it the law or something to have alcohol on New Year’s Eve?! No? Oh well, it should be.
The past few years have seen us order a Chinese take-away for tea/supper. Oh, it’s not allowed to be anything else. This year I have suggested getting an Indian take-away just for varieties sake, but the 8 year old is having none of it. He loves his traditions, just like I do with Christmas. In his eyes, New Years Eve simply wouldn’t be the same without Chinese food.
So we’ll duly be ordering stuff like vegetable spring rolls, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken balls, noodles and chow mein. Mmm.
(It’s made more of a treat to him I think due to the fact we never usually have it at any other time of the year! )
Then, when we’re all suitably stuffed, and the 4 year old is snoozing away upstairs, the 8 year old is downstairs refusing to go to bed as ‘he needs to stay up to midnight to hear Big Ben bong.’
Which means he’ll be adamant he’s staying wide awake then be snoring his little head off on the sofa by 9pm. So there we’ll leave him with his duvet and pillow, ready to wake him up at ten to midnight in time to listen to the ‘bongs’, all the singing and watch the New Year come in to all the fireworks lighting up the night sky along the River Thames.
Then when it comes to waking him, he’ll boing up like a jack in the box and deny all knowledge of ever being asleep in the first place as ‘he was awake all along.’ (Said while sporting a severe case of bed head hair and bleary half asleep eyes to contradict himself. )
Even half asleep, he still never fails to be in awe of Big Ben chiming, the sheer number of people out celebrating, and the fireworks display.
Full of New Year’s cheer, he makes his way up to bed where we’ll whisper ‘happy new year’ to his snoozing little brother as well.
Until next year….