New Year is one of my favorite events of winter – a time of anticipation and new beginnings. That said, I don’t spend the New Year holiday like most people I know. Instead, my 24 hours of New Year are consumed by two long-standing traditions of which I’m fiercely protective.
I’ll refer to the first tradition as our “Ring in the New Year Slumber Party.” Rather than going out to celebrate, or inviting others over, my family turns inward for New Year’s Eve. It’s a tradition that we started by accident, back when our sons were small and we couldn’t find a babysitter. Little did we know that this accidental evening would turn into something we’d like to repeat year-after-year.
We start by making a super decadent and completely unhealthy New Year’s Eve dinner. We sit at the formal dining table with appetizers and bubbly sparkling juice, eventually moving on to the main course and dessert. After we’ve thoroughly stuffed ourselves, we move onto board games and movies – revisiting some of the old favorites that we’ve forgotten through hustle and bustle of the year.
Around 11 p.m., we set up a slumber party in our master bedroom. The boys gather up their sleeping bags and pillows, and tuck our dog, Luke, in between them. There’s usually some type of holiday count-down concert on TV which we watch along with the ball drop in Times Square. Then, we shut off the lights and snooze ‘til New Year’s Day. It’s sweet and simple, making time to ring in the New Year, together – just the five of us. To this day, my kids think it’s great fun to have a slumber party with their mom and dad – go figure!
The second tradition is “New Year Spa Day.” Every year, on January 1, my best friend and I book a spa day. We want to start the year off by feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, and a spa day delivers exactly the desired effect. We usually meet for lunch and then head to the spa for massages, facials and pedicures and lots of chatting in-between treatments.
There’s a double-benefit to our New Year Spa Day. It’s not just the way we kick off the year; it’s also our gift to one another. You see, we decided many years ago, that instead of exchanging Christmas presents, we would spend time together at the spa. This arrangement simplifies the holidays and takes the pressure off. We don’t have to worry about finding the ideal gift for one-another –we already know what the ideal gift will be!
By sundown on January 1, I’ve experienced 24 hours of perfection – hours filled with special moments with those who I love most. I am ready to start the new year with new fortitude, and that feeling of optimism is worth protecting.