Hello 2015: How our Family Celebrated New Year
New year, new beginning, so they say. It gives us a chance to start over, learn from our mistakes and create new and lasting memories. But before we start with 2015, we all need to go through preparations first. By preparation, this means cooking for media noche and fireworks display at exactly 12 midnight.
Celebrating New Year with the Family
We always celebrate New Year with my side of the family. However, it wasn’t exciting compared to this year since my girls are either sleeping or they don’t want to get out because they are scared of fireworks. This year, my girls cooperated, although my youngest fell asleep eventually by 11PM.
I was even surprised when my eldest tried so hard to be awake and watch the fireworks display. It was her first time so you can just imagine how giddy she was the whole time. Sadly, I had to bring her inside the house since some of our neighbors lit up the Judas Belt and yes, ang usok. Not good for the kids. New Year Traditions
Of course, welcoming 2015 won’t be complete without our yearly traditions. When I was younger, my cousins and I prepare a dance number (and yes, we practice a lot too) and perform it in front of the parents and grandparents in exchange of money. Haha! We also play games to kill time as we wait for 12 midnight. As we get older and practicing is almost next to impossible, we decided to skip the dance part and just settle for the games, after hearing Mass, of course. Since then, we always have our Annual Bingo with my mom as the Santa. We also play card games while the adults play mahjong. Few minutes before 12, my dad prepares the fireworks with the usuals in it. Once done, we will have our traditional “paagaw” where mom and lola throw money while the kids and adults get as much money as we can. And yes, I join too, even if I have two kids.
Then, it’s time for food! Time to fill our hungry tummies after watching the fireworks and paagaw. I wasn’t able to bake last Christmas so I made sure I’ll do so this New Year. By request, I made red velvet cupcakes, which is a sure hit, of course (at least according to my own point of view). Aside from the cupcakes, my sister made Shrimp Scampi (thanks to Ina Garten for the recipe), Chicken Teriyaki and walnut brownies. My mom also cooked Pesto and made Potato Salad and barbecue too while my auntie contributed her famous empanada. Of course, media noche will never be complete without the traditional kakanin and 12 round fruits on the table.
My thoughts on this year’s celebration
I was surprised to see that not many people in our village had fireworks. Well, they have the traditional fountain but only a number went out of their houses to witness the display of fireworks (probably because of the rain). Overall, New Year is not just about how extravagant fireworks are, or the lechon sitting at the center of the table, or how many bottles of wine you drank, or which party you went to.
It’s about celebrating it with people who really matter – our family / loved ones. And yes, it means new beginnings too since we are given another 365 days to learn, make mistakes and eventually learn again.