EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Tylenol and their #HowWeFamily campaign, but the thoughts and opinions are all my own. Both of us wish you and yours a Happy New Year!
I sat down a few days ago to write this eye-opening article about ringing in the new year. Truth is, I thought there might be some stark contrasts between how we celebrated December 31st as children versus how we celebrate now. And as I lean back in my chair, watching the cursor blink at me, it feels like an arm is reaching out at me – tapping me on the forehead, saying ‘Hey dummy, don’t you get it? Unless you’re in your teens or twenties, everyone does the same thing.’
Even with that tap on the forehead, I refused to believe it. I actually went as far as picking up the phone and calling my mom…
ME: Mom, hey it’s Adrian.
MOM: Oh hi, what’s going on?
ME: I need a little help. I’m writing an article about how I celebrated New Year’s Eve as a child versus how I celebrate it now. I’m having trouble remembering if we did anything fun or traditional when we were kids – any thoughts?
MOM: Fun or traditional? (mom laughs) Ummm, not really that I can remember. There were a few times that your dad and I got a babysitter and may have gone out to a friend’s house, but honestly I think you and your brothers always fell asleep long before Dick Clark began yelling the countdown in Times Square. Your dad and I were probably so exhausted from the hustle leading up to Christmas that we both just wanted to eat a nice meal, get horizontal on the sofa and relax…
ME: Wait, that’s exactly what Jen and I do now. So nothing about the way parents with young children celebrate the new year has changed in a generation?
MOM: I doubt it’s changed in several generations…
MOM: Okay, good luck – I have to run, I’m trying to finish up making dinner.
ME: But it’s 4 o’clock…
MOM: Shut up, Adrian, old people eat early.
So there it was, the answer to my question.
Come to think of it, I do vaguely remember loafing around the living room on New Year’s Eve in our sleeping bags with my brothers, watching movies as my dad tossed Alaskan King crab legs into the steamer and my mom prepped the New Year’s Day crock pot with ham, green beans and potatoes.
Maybe that was the tradition?
Had you suggested that to me when I was in my 20’s or even early 30’s, I probably would’ve thought you were having a momentary lapse of sanity. But I’m 40 now with three really young kids.
I’m totally down with THIS if it’s the new way to celebrate.
As I sit here and fan through pictures spanning from my youth all the way up to present day, I’m beginning to see the visible trend.
There really AREN’T any pictures of me and my brothers on New Year’s Eve, which supports my mom’s recollection. We most likely fell asleep on the floor and my dad carried us to bed, while they enjoyed the silence, seafood and musical stylings of Hall & Oates and Blondie.
I sped up through my timeline, skipping quickly over the albums that reveal my celebrations in Times Square, the Vegas strip and Lake Tahoe and getting right to the birth of Ava in 2009.
The last six holidays were spent exactly as my parents described it almost to a tee, right down to me dropping crab legs or lobster into the steamer…
…and what I’ve determined is that there’s NOTHING wrong with that. The times have changed and we’ve changed with them.
We legitimately enjoy taking a deep breath after the stress of traveling and determined efforts to not get sick. We enjoy sitting around in sweatpants, watching the kids play with their new toys – building Legos, putting together puzzles and trying to figure out why my brother bought my 2-year old a skateboard.
This is #HowWeFamily, this is how we bond and nothing makes me happier than to fast forward twenty years and potentially have this same conversation with my sons and daughters when they ask how we rang in the new year.
Where will you and your family be when the ball drops and we welcome in 2017? Share your family celebrations using #HowWeFamily!