Our New Year’s tree has become one of our favorite traditions. It’s a whole lot of hooplah and craziness, but whether we recognize it or not, we are celebrating the freshness of a new year. An open stretch of time yet to be used. 365 clean, white days, undetermined. All waiting to be filled with our choices. Randomly listed throughout this post are my hopes for the new year. Choices I’d like to make. 13 Things I need to work on, let go of, replace or develop.
1. less fretting, more faith
We blew streamers, streamers, and more streamers onto the branches.
There’s an art to it – making a streamer spiral onto the tree in perfect curls. Place the roll just in front of your lips, pucker, and blow!
2. more patience
We danced through the decorating. The girls stopped for a split second to pose.
3. more going gently
While editing this post I discovered a new photo effects feature and started tinkering.
4. less staying up late, more sleep
I looked at our photos from last year’s celebration and couldn’t get over how tall the girls are now, how long and leggy they look.
5. less nagging, more playing
Eliza has a touchdown dance she loves to do. A knee wobble with point and cross that would make John Travolta smile.
6. less scrambling, more planning = less mac and cheese, more home-cooked meals
Spencer is Mr. Tough Guy lately. I think we need to read Raising Cain – a book about emotional literacy for boys. Have you read it? Would you recommend it? I’m also reading this and remembering where the most reliable answers can be found.
7. less force, more choice
Gordon eats anything in hand. Blowers, balloons, band-aids, paper. I am finding wet wads of chewed up things all over the house. Ick.
8. more chill pills
This photo trick makes it look like our Christmas lights turned neon. Or the will-of-the-wisps are ready to guide us somewhere.
9. less screen-time, more scripture-time
We rallied for a photo, then did our “early” countdown, ringing in 2013 on London time. Works great for kids. Then it was off to my parents for food, games, and fireworks.
My brother Dave and my sister Bec made a fantastic german meal. Becca served an LDS mission in Munich, so she wore her traditional dress, and Dave, being the confident man he is, wasn’t about to be shown up. So he packed his lederhosen all the way from Texas, and joined her in full German get-up.
The food was fabulous. Schnitzel, spaetzle, cucumber-tomato salad, and apple streudel. All from scratch.
I had to get a shot of the beautiful embroidery on the back of Becca’s dress. And her fur-lined boots.
Then it was outside for sparks and pops. My Dad loves any excuse to light fireworks. He stores them en masse so they’re on hand for every holiday. The grandkids love it.
10. more one-on-one time with my children
It was a whopping 15 degrees that night so the kids were jumping up and down to stay warm and no one wanted their hands out of their pockets for long.
11. less me-time, more Doug-time
We also lit sky lanterns. Thank you Rebecca, for this thoughtful gift. It was a new experience for all of us and a favorite part of our evening.
In ancient times, sky lanterns were lit to request good favor from God. It was believed that as the lanterns floated close to the heavens, God would make the senders’ wishes and prayers come true.
12. less hurrying, more hearing
Our family definitely has its hopes and prayers. For jobs, homes, health, sustaining of life, babies yet unborn, a return to faith. While we are happy and so very blessed, our family, like all of yours, has its struggles and heartaches.
As the lanterns rose into the darkness, I felt the outward expression of our combined prayers. I felt them slip out of our hands and into the sky. Into someone else’s purview. Off they floated – all our worries and petitions – leaving us empty-handed and ready to receive whatever may come this new year.
12. more stopping, more seeing
Once home, the kids quickly put their shoes under the tree. No one wants to miss out on a visit from the New Year’s Eve elf who fills our shoes with goodies. A dutch tradition from my mother’s side.
I’ll leave you with this little video of our countdown. Too bad I don’t know how to splice footage or I would have included Doug doing the worm. Pretty awesome I tell you. Instead, you get what Doug politely calls our “star performers.” I believe the more correct description would be “camera hogs.” Sorry about that. But there we are, in our silliness, with Ali whining, me barking that someone will knock the camera over, and a bunch of bopping, and boogie-ing as we welcome in 2013.
Joseph B. Wirthlin’s advice seems apt as we enter the new year.
“Come what may, and love it.”