In my growing up family this day was always especially celebratory. It was my dad's birthday. If he were still around, he would be 95 years old today, born on the last day of 1919. He ate pickled herring for new years. I am not sure why. We usually had a card party with my aunt and uncle. Sometimes we kids were left home while they went to somebody's house for new years. Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was always on television for new year's back in the day. I never watched it all the way through and that experience fueled my dislike for the horror genre.
As we got bigger, my siblings and I were included in the new year's eve festivities. The adults had a little cold duc and we all had potato chips with sour cream dip. Dad almost never had a big deal made about his birthday. He said that the whole world was celebrating.
These days at our house we don't go to parties. We don't drink alcohol. We don't have chips and dip. But, we have made our own traditions. We watch When Harry Met Sally. We eat shrimp and drink sparkling grape juice. We watch the count down at 11 at Times Square and try to go to bed, if only our neighbors wouldn't shoot fireworks at the actual midnight here.
This year, I intend to count my blessings and think about the things that my dad taught me about life. Happy birthday, Daddy. I miss you every day and look forward to being with you again in eternity. And Happy New Year Everybody. (And you Catholics, don't forget to go to Mass. It is a Holy Day, after all.)