Life is Lovelier With Lace…and the New Year’s Eve Party!

907da16e2f09cb7c987f36cda760b208Many New Year’s Eve parties have come and gone now, for me. Still, I recall those fun times in my youth. The days when you looked forward to staying up all night. For fun.

As a high schooler, our church youth group had the best New Year’s Eve fun. Partly because we planned it ourselves. A small town church. Volunteer youth group leaders. My hat is off to these volunteers!

“If you want to have an All Night New Year’s Eve party, you can have it here, (in their home) but you will have to plan the whole thing yourselves,” Bev shared with us.

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“If you’re going to have food, you have to make a menu, and then a grocery list. Multiply recipe amounts by the number of kids who plan to be there. And we can take the money out of the youth group bank account.”

So we decided on hot chocolate, first of all. To make the powder recipe (circa, 1970’s – no individual packets available) we did the multiplication for each ingredient; then began the grocery list. Ditto for all the menu items.

That took care of the food. Now, what were we going to ‘do.’ All night. A lot of hours. The parents would especially be interested in this answer.

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It would ‘progressive.’ We will start the party at the church, after the New Year’s Eve service…with the adults. We will take off from there to the community ice rink, for broomball. Then, after a couple hours, we will progress to the bowling alley.

After bowling a couple of games, we can move on to Darrel and Bev’s for refreshment and indoor games. (The new year will ring in sometime while we are gathered there.)

This should bring us to the early morning hours, and the stomachs will begin to rumble. The time will be 5:00 or 6:00 am. We can head out to Roxy’s for a pancake breakfast by Ruby!

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We had a great time. Each year! The food worked out well. No one was hurt on the broomball ice. Bowling was…boring. 😕  (Sorry. That’s just how I feel about bowling!)

But, all the silly group games in the Kringen living room, during the wee-morning hours were hilarious! Even though we broke their couch!

And for the rest of that New Year’s Day, we would all go home, and sleep. So much for a good start on a new year!

Ahh, but the  memories were never to be forgotten. Lots of laughter. Guards came down. Real selves emerged. With the monitoring of Darrel and Bev, we were safe. More than that, we had good counsel. If chaos broke lose, they would tame it. If conflict ensued,  they would be there to smooth it out. All the parents were at peace with their kids in Darrel and Bev’s care.

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Many New Year’s Eve  parties were modeled after these Kringen parties. Even after Tim and I were married, we remember New Year’s Eve celebrations modeled the same way with Young Married groups.

But, for each of us who were the youth –  turned young married – and then advancing to the title – parents – the tide turns. And we find our hearts turned toward home. And our little ones all snug in their beds before midnight! Really just another night on the homefront! And wisely knowing the pitter-patter of little feet will arouse us earlier than we hope, the next morning!

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And still time marches on! Those little feet that ‘pitter – pattered’ have grown into sizes bigger than ours! No more normal, early bedtimes. Once again, creative, laughter-filled the New Year’s parties begin again!

Pull out the games! Group games! Loud games! Knowledge games! Musical games!  Beeper games! Funny games! Embarrassing games!

As a Mom, I was made to feel guilty for not providing ‘game time’ for our kids. ‘Good family activity,’ they touted. But ours kids made it known to us that there were other more enjoyable uses of their time! And we chose those activities. But not on New Year’s Eve! All the stops come out – and games rule!

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Games. Group games. Laughter. Food galore. All night. Sometimes. ☺  Most often the best games were retro – games discovered at a thrift store. Sometimes the best group hysteria will come from a current novelty. Most certainly the good times depend on the bond of the friend.

We once had a Rook tournament. Not again. Too serious for New Year’s Eve.

We’ve had a music game: Encore. Retro. Loud and hilarious!  That one has ‘encored’ many times! To this day I chuckle at a song brought to the floor by one of us ‘older generation’ representatives of the game. Even the oldest of the younger crowd did not catch on!

Then we discovered, “Cups.”

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This game is so engaging! You may catch on immediately. You may earnestly try for quite a while, and finally get it. You may try all night and never coordinate your brain with your hands! Some would have to confess they won’t even try. Too complicated for them.

For me, I am still going to get it someday!

Now, as New Year’s Eve approaches, I am happy to ‘engage’ in hours at my job; I am working. And feel no remorse. (I may bring a cup with me, though! And practice!)

So, enjoy your New Year’s Eve, however you have opportunity to spend it! Whether all night broomball, bowling or Cups: have fun, stay safe and celebrate the the new 2017!

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Life is Lovelier With Lace…

There are many of us that would most definitely choose a good book or a quiet movie to bring in the new year! Now that is me. And Tim. Together. Most enjoyable. Possibly we used up a major portion of our energy earlier in life – partying with the kids. It was fun then. But this is fun now.

And, at some point in our growing up time, we realize the pure joy of choosing to go to bed before midnight!

I won’t be surprised if I pull out my hook and crochet a bit on a lacey wrap or my newest creation, the ‘Cornsilk Swizler!’ on New Year’s Eve! A quiet kind of ‘sparkle!’

Happy New Year!

~ Debbie Ludvigson

The Ludvigson Lace Lady 

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