What Are You Doing for New Year’s Eve?

Most years on New Year’s Eve we attend a little party given by one or another of our Church friends. But this year, given that it is falling on the Sabbath, there are no parties.

I was rescued when the NFL moved the Chicago Bears v. Green Bay Packers game to the prime time slot Sunday night. (I live near Chicago and so follow the Bears.) So I will have some chips and veggies and dip, a little bit of a Tex-Mex spread, build a fire and enjoy the game. (I am much more liberal about Sabbath observance than your average Mormon, so for me watching football on TV is no big deal.)

I’m curious what your plans are and, if you have teenagers, what their plans are. Are they going to the fireside broadcast at all, or are they blowing that off, and if so, what are they doing?

How are Mormons going to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year, given that it falls on a Sunday?


  1. Kevin Barney says:

    I have fond memories of my own teenage years. We usually would get together with our Church friends (both boys and girls) in someone’s basement, with plenty of food and drink, and play games or talk all night long, and finish with a breakfast in the morning. It was a safe environment, but it was fun for us.

    I honestly cannot remember if this routine varied when either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, which is part of what is feeding my curiousity about how you will be handling this circumstance.

  2. Jonathan Green says:

    Fifteen Euro worth of fireworks Made in Germany, and I’m good.

  3. I don’t have teenagers but I am supposed to be going to the fireside anyways. Our ward will be starting it at 8PM. One of the other wards will be taping it and then will start to watch it at 11PM and it will allow them to celebrate the new year.

    As for me going to the fireside, with small children it is impractical, so I will probably end up doing the same thing as every other New Years eve in recent past. Going to bed at a normal time a having it be just like any other night. (yes, I know my wife calls me a party pooper, but oh-well)

  4. I think it’s facinating that watching a football game (by yourself? Or does the rest of your family love football too?) is preferable to inviting another family over or going to another family’s home to celebrate. In our family, ‘parties’ on Sunday are okay if they are family events not held in commercial venues. Do I sound like I’m rationalizing as much as it sounds to me that Kevin is? If I were single or didn’t have children at home, I’d feel similarly I think.

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    Claire, I would be perfectly fine with either holding or attending a party, but I don’t think anyone else would come. That may be an incorrect assumption on my part, but the fact that the people who usually host the parties aren’t having them this year suggests to me that for most Mormons a party is out, even if it is a tasteful in-home affair. I agree with you that that seems a shame.

    (I’ll be watching the game alone.)

  6. Your non-party sounds very appealing Kevin. Save me spot.

  7. My husband and I are both party poopers. We haven’t done anything for new years since we’ve been married, not even staying up til midnight. Last year I bought some ginger ale and we drank a little bit of that. This year looks like it will be about the same.
    I thought it was interesting though, that a woman in our ward sent out an email with an open invitation for anyone in the ward to come to their house on New Years Eve. All she asked was that they bring a little food to share. I thought it was a very generous (and brave) gesture.

  8. I’ll be hanging out with my wife’s friends. I’m not looking forward to it. I’m hoping we’ll stay for a little bit and head over to sister-in-law’s house to play some Nintendo Wii.

  9. We are part of the Colorado front range that has been snowed in, so we will probably do what we have done the last couple of nights–be glad that we don’t have to travel anywhere, and be glad that we are safe and warm.

  10. I’ll be home, baking and indulging in some comfort food (probably cornbread and honey), with soft music, writing — and trying to keep it nostalgic, not melancholy.

    One of the best things about New Year’s Eve coming on Sunday is that the CBS Sunday Morning News will have produced their annual piece on those who have died this year, the small and the great, the builders of magnificent orchestras and the inventors of the tiny widgets that make life good. Others do that, of course, but nobody does it as well as Charles Kuralt did, unless it’s Charles Osgood.

    New Year’s Eve will be a reflective time. New Year’s Day, now, that’s another story. That’s the easiest holiday for me to find the spirit of enjoying. Call me bipolar, but I can swing from the hate-to-say-goodbye melancholy of New Year’s Eve to the welcome-world-I-love-you optimism of New Year’s Day at the stroke of the clock.

  11. With the exception of two New Years Eves our family has spent the holiday sick. I was under the impression that we were breaking our sick tradition this year. I thought we all were healthy, but one of my teenagers (who is out of town) called to tell me that he is sick and will be home tomorrow.

  12. last NYE, we had a great party that I think would be appropriate for Sunday. We gathered, had some fine foods and some faux vin, then we all shared with each other favorite passages from literature, followed by performing a ritual for a Brazilian fertility goddess that involved making a wish and then popping a brown paper bag filled with air.
    This sounds much more pagan than we are, and we have wonderful, warm memories of spiritual sharing with some of our close friends. I think when the NYE is approached in a ritual rather than raucous way, it is entirely appropriate to gather on a Sunday. I have a recipe for an eggnog frappe that was a hit at the gathering and still elicits fond memories among our friends.
    This NYE, I’ll be working, my gift to the world I suppose.

  13. Never do anything on New Year’s Eve–never have, and never will. The kids will beg to stay up, we’ll say we’re not even staying up, and they’ll complain, and we’ll give in and let them go outside and bang pots and pans together (it’s my mother’s tradition) at around 9pm, when it’s the New Year in Newfoundland or wherever, and we’ll send them to bed and hit the sack ourselves around 10pm or whenever. That’s been the way it’s gone for years.

    On New Year’s Day, by contrast, we celebrate big. It started years ago, as an attempt by my wife to find people willing to watch bowl games with her, since I’m not a big football fan. It has since evolved into a major event, which we’ve tried to keep up wherever we’ve been living. 20 or 30 guests, shrimp and spinach/artichoke dip, sandwiches, IBC root beer, quesadillas, Lion House potatoes, the works. Set up a tv room with movies running all day for the kids, have everyone bring over party games and their kids’ latest Christmas toys, everyone gets loud and relaxed and crazy, and it breaks up around dinner time. Nobody goes home hungry. It’s a fun start to the year.

  14. We’ll do our usual party at home. New Years for us is a time to hibernate and feel cozy and loved, eat good food, and be glad we aren’t out. =)

  15. Tanya Spackman says:

    I’m doing nothing. I really like First Night and would go to that if I had any friends going, but no one is, and that’s not really fun alone. I’ll try to stay awake till midnight and welcome the new year, but I really like going to be early.

    Growing up, my family would watch two or three (usually three) videos on Christmas Eve, switch to TV a few minutes before midnight to watch some countdown (often the dropping ball in NYC, which was taped a couple hours earlier). We’d toast with eggnog (mine liberally spiked with Sprite because the thickness of eggnog is kinda gross), finish up the last movie, and go to bed.

    So you can see where my wild party animal ways started.

  16. Phew, Kevin, I’m glad to hear I read you wrong. Maybe it’s just your turn to host the party? :-)

    And Brett, you are making me jealous that you have somewhere to go play a Wii… Wee couldn’t find one anywhere for Christmas.

  17. I’ve got to be at the broadcast. Then back at our place we’ll be having a bunch of friends over from the ward. We’ll be doing cheese and chocolate fondues, probably a little Nintendo Wii and general chit chat. Then we’ll probably head over to the roof of the church and watch the East River (NYC) fireworks. I figure since we’re on the roof of the church we’re Sabbath-safe :)

  18. My sisters and I always stay up to watch the ball drop and drink root beer and sparkling cider. This year the party starts earlier than normal, around 3pm, because we have to add in a commemorative “toast” in celebration of the end of the USSR 15 years ago. In between the Russian bit and the ball dropping, we’ll probably watch really bad holiday movies (I have a DVD with the Star Wars Holiday Special,) or possibly take naps. There may well be finger foods — maybe even salsa.

    This, except for the USSR stuff, has been what we do every Dec. 31st since 1993 (when I was old enough to stay up till midnight, and my sisters basically got to tag along.) When my dad had custody of me (alternating Christmases in the 1990s) my sisters carried on without me. Anyway, it being Sunday doesn’t really change things for us, except that there’s no chance of us going out to see a movie. I don’t believe my youngest sister will go to the broadcast — she hates that kind of stuff.

    However, we’re also real homebodies. I think our family total for parties attended this year is something around a dozen — and that’s counting work “parties,” trips to movie theatres in honor of someone’s birthday, and the 8 or 9 parties the middle sister (a relative party animal) has attended within her building at school.

  19. We’re having a nintendo wii and ds get together to shoo in the new year.

    My husband is the best ever and waited all night in line to get me a wii for christmas. yay!

  20. My Mom used to make a huge pot of homemade clam chowder every New Year’s Eve. We’d sit around as a family, eat our chowder and play games.

    This year I don’t think we have any specific plans, mainly because my wife is on call and because I am battling the flu.

  21. Down Texas way we are having the youth of our ward over to watch the fireside on BYUTV then later we are going to set off some fireworks. After midnight that it!!!!!

  22. When Stephansdom strikes 12, the wife and I will be waltzing through the streets of old Vienna.

    (In our dreams. Who can get babysitters tonight?)

  23. I’d love to go see a band play tonight, but last time I did that on a holiday weekend there were accidents all over the place, it was crazy. So many drunk drivers in L.A. on a holiday at 2am. In one back up, men were pulling off the road so they could pee on the shoulder. That was when I realized I was sharing the road with a bunch of drunks.

    My teenage daughter went to a stake dance last night, and they did a count down to midnight, calling it a practice for tonight. I’m not sure if my teens will go to the fireside tonight yet.

  24. Our general New Year’s Eve celebration will remain pretty much intact. We snack on cheese, cracker, sardines, chips, and dips while playing board games with the family. At midnight we go outside and bang post and pans and cymbals and triangles and scream “Happy New Year” in our best attempt to awaken and annoy the neighbors.

    Then we go to bed happy and awaken the next morning to scan the Rose Parade and eat chocolate fondue.

    The next day we diet.

  25. jothegrill says:

    Well we had our traditional sushi party last night with my parents. Tonight we’re heading down to a party with my in-laws which my mother-in-law says will be a quiet family gathering, but that my brother-in-law (who is hosting it) says won’t be quiet. =) We’ll eat food and play board games.
    As a kid, we always went out to bang pots and pans when the ball dropped in New York, which was at 10 PM and was plenty late for us. I think we might keep the tradition, but I’d prefer to do it in California. Then my kids would be to bed almost on time. Oh and maybe we celebrate on a southern California beach with a sunset picnic. Oh, I can dream can’t I?

  26. David Lesher says:

    My wife and I have lived in the Caribbean for the past year . . . I’m in school. Last year, I had just arrived on the island and spent the evening pretty much alone. I’m happy this year to have my wife and our new baby daughter here. We’ll probably hang out on our patio sipping the non-alcoholic bubbly watching fireworks from 6 surrounding islands. I know . . . rough life. =D

  27. We usually throw a New Year’s Party and invite five or ten so families with kids, some from the ward, some from the neighborhood, come over. I have a box full of noisemakers, funny hats, and decorations to use each year. I lead the primary-aged kids on a parade around the block, banging pans, at 9, 10, and 11, every time it hits midnight in the US. By midnight I’m so tired and only my own kids are awake, we just yell out the door.

    I was looking forward to board games and junk food with my four kids, and less than three grown-up guests. Apparently last night my husband couldn’t stand it and invited four couples whose kids are grown. Now, I love these people, but I might disappear into a back room after saying hello. I’ve been so happy at the thought of not having to face so many people. I’ve had enough of the party season, I’m peopled-out, and I’m staying home from church right now with my coughing child, hoping I catch it myself.

  28. I’m in the medical field, and I was supposed to be on call tonight, but my boss called me yesterday and said I could have the night off. I’ll be doing what I do every New Year’s Eve: getting together with extended family and eating jalapeno poppers and playing board games. We’ll probably drink sparkling cider at midnight. The advantage to having it on Sunday is that nobody will be bugging me as to why I’m skipping the YSA dance.

  29. is the broadcast for everyone? our ward said it was youth only.

    we’re boring. before i realized it was new year’s eve, i’d planned a picnic at the temple for me and my girls to see the last sunday of lights. the husband works sundays (he’s a cop) and we always take him sunday dinners, but we’ve promised to not do either the dinner or the picnic because, as susan said, new year’s eve in la isn’t exactly the time to be cavorting about.

    no cable, no internet. crap. guess we’ll do puzzles and pick our noses all night.

  30. Kevin Barney says:

    My understanding is that the broadcast is for the youth.

  31. Nachos, a DVD of Pirates of the Carribbean and jammies. Whooo-hooo! Livin’ it up.

  32. I’m annoying the rest of my fellow bloggers. Eating buttered popcorn and watching TV. The high life.

  33. We celebrate Birthdays and Christmas Eve the same when it falls on Sunday, and we celebrated New Years the same as well. Boards games and Nintendo Wii along with too much junk food.

  34. In nine years of marriage, we’ve gone to three New Years Eve parties–last night was our third. Though with everyone having small children, we were the last to leave at 11 PM.

  35. Idahospud says:

    Well, we threw the party we always throw–New Year’s Eve is also our anniversary. We had four other families over (along with several teens their teens invited) and played games and ate. I was kind of surprised, since my husband is the resident Sunday Nazi, but he was all for continuing the tradition. Alas, when July 4 fell on a Sunday last year, he wasn’t so accomodating, and we cancelled our traditional neighborhood bash.

  36. Huh. It didn’t ever occur to me that some people wouldn’t feel it is appropriate to do the games-and-sprite Mormon NYE get-together.

    That’s what we did, with three other LDS couples. I had the most social NYE we’ve had in years. Then again, quite a bit of Diet Coke was consumed, so I guess that’s a sign right there that we were living on the fringes of polite Mormon society.

  37. We were in Utah, and we were packing Sunday night so we could escape back to TGSOT (driving) on Monday (we left about noon, so as to escape the crazies on the road).

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