Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Traditions

Most families have traditions surrounding holidays and significant events, and ours is no exception. B's extended family celebrate particular events at the same house every year, with each family (usually, but not always, the Aunty) having their specialities that they bring for the buffet meal: a massive pot of spiced rice, pork curry, chicken curries, spicy eggplant, a creamy potato curry, pineapple chutney and burning sambals (and at Christmas a fabulous home-made mustard to accompany ham).Lunch on New Year's Day is one of these annual features, always at the same Aunty's house. Lunch is followed by "parlour game" type entertainment, which in recent years has included New Year's Resolutions: each person secretly writes down their resolutions, which are stored

in a small wooden box for the year, to be retrieved, read out and reviewed the following New Year's Day.

Some resolutions are serious: the child who wants to improve her handwriting, the cousin with a new strength goal in the gym. There are many which give everyone a good giggle (though without knowing the family members the humour doesn't translate). Some are lovely: this
year there was a husband and wife who, unbeknownst to each other, each resolved last year to make time to take the other out on dates more regularly. It's a fun way to think about the year past and how we have progressed.

Last year, figuring a two year old can't resolve to do anything for 3 seconds let alone 365 days, I let Big Bro "write" his own resolution.

This year when it came out of the time capsule I was struck by how much both boys had grown since then. Suddenly in my mind, the past few years could be distilled down to Big Bro's features at the New Year's Day lunches: chatty and busy this year, a bit shyer and talking in several-word phrases last year, not quite walking and barely talking the year before, and swaddled in a striped muslin, crying and sleeping the year before.

As eager as I am to see the boys growing, a part of me thinks they're growing up way too fast. The next thing I know, they'll be the ones responsible for maintaining the family traditions. Which is, of course, the way it's meant to work.

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