It was another fine New Years Eve as we said farewell to 2012 and ushered in 2013. It has become an annual tradidtion to have a little gathering with some friends on this night. Because many of us have children, we ring in the east coast New Year (which is of course 10pm our time).
We start at 7pm with a buffet style pot luck. It is always a collection of yummy dishes and this year was no exception. After we eat, it is time for the Piñata at 8pm. Spin 3 times, then whack it!
The next part of the night is my personal favorite. Around 9pm, we shoot of some really fun fireworks. John always has them all planned out and spaced for maximum effect. Last year we had a technical difficulty (our launcher exploded), so this year we had beefed up launchers and John took care of all firework duties. It is impossible to show in a picture, but the sparks light up the launching area.
I think this was our best show yet! Unfortunately, this year we had to pony up and buy the fireworks ourselves. In years past we have gotten into a HUGE, HUGE stash that G&G Gilleland built up for us over the years. I will not mention how much the fireworks cost, but we have decided to shop for them July 5th for next year.
The fireworks were so lengthy and wonderful that we had to hustle in the house to count down the 10pm 'New Year.' The Manns brought bubble wrap to put on the floor and I had horns for everyone under 15. I have to say that we enthusiastically and boldly welcomed 2013 (i.e. it was SUPER loud!)
At this point, most of the families with young kids (which is most of the families) head home. We wind down and clean up a bit. We talk about near misses with Roman Candles and recipes we must now get. We realized a few years back that the teenagers though, are not satisfied with just a 10pm 'New Year.' They actually want to stay up until Midnight. Because they are determined to stay up, and I have a feeling that kissing at midnight is an appealing default for teens, last year I came up with an idea and it worked well enough that we did it again. We got 'Wish Lanterns' for the kids to send off at midnight. It is quiet, fun, and really beautiful. I got colored lanterns this year just to mix it up.
First, we send up a test lantern to see if it is calm enough to send them all up...
Then we pick a lantern and pair up with a partner. The lanterns are too big to manage alone. We write out goals, wishes, and general nonsense on each lantern.
The funnest part of course is sending them off. We had a slight breeze, but not enough to matter. It was FRIGID outside and there seemed to be some ice crystals falling as we released the lanterns. A few got holes before they were released, but John got them all in the air. We watched them until the cold forced us back inside. It is quiet and beautiful to watch them ascend.
Farewell 2012, welcome 2013.