|Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst New York|
( A suburb of Buffalo, N.Y.)
and has worked in the ophthalmology
field of medicine for nearly 40 years
It's funny how those thoughts do change as we grow up. We would start early in December trying to make our plans so we were not left out in the cold on this important day.
After I got married, we would celebrate with friends in different ways; we tried First Night downtown, dinners, movies, house parties etc. and then the children came along. It became a challenge to find a baby sitter on that all important night since most teenage baby sitters had their own plans. After our good friends' son became old enough, we had a built in babysitter and we then could go out to celebrate once again.
For so many years we would return to our house for desert to relieve our babysitter and ring in the New Year with home made confetti that my son would have been cutting up for hours; it then would rain down on us all, which took an hour to vacuum up afterwards. As I reflect on those special days, they bring on a warm and happy feeling inside.
Now a days, as our children are grown and gone and we can once again do whatever we want to do to celebrate. After all these years, the importance of that momentous day seems to have diminished somehow. It is no longer most important to find an unusual and expensive way to celebrate, and staying up after midnight poses a problem today. If we are not physically moving at that hour, we become sleepy and after that magic midnight cheer, we return home, happy enough knowing we had a nice dinner, movie or activity with our good friends. For the last decade or more, we have chosen to have a quiet time with our dear friends by choosing a movie we will all enjoy and a restaurant that is not too fussy. We have grown tired of paying the prices that have “special” packages for the most important day - it seems to give proprietors a chance to raise the prices, throw in a music maker and collect many dollars over the regular price of that exact meal that will cost much less later in the week.
It has become not the enjoyment of expensive food, but the joy of spending time with special people every year. It no longer holds the importance of finding a place to go as it did in those teenager years, and we now enjoy the happiness good company brings no matter what we are doing to celebrate.
As always, we reflect on the past year that brought happiness along with hardships and sadness, worry and celebrations and the hope that the new year of 2017 will bring good health and happiness for all whom we hold dear.
As we anticipate each new coming year,with happiness and hope that this will be the best year ever; we pray that all those that we love are care about will have the best year as well.
Happy New Years to us all.
Hana Hou, (Encore)