Milhent (milhent) wrote,

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Writer's Block: Bottoms up! and Following traditions

Rather then spam friends pages I have combined two Writer's Blocks as they are related.

How do you usually spend New Years Eve? Do you like big parties, small celebrations with friends, or do you prefer to hang out by yourself? Is New Years a time of reflection for you?

Right now we are in process of making up new traditions, as old ones were good while my sister and I were children but are just silly now.

So we start preparing for New Year eve about a week before it, mostly with casually speaking about who do we want to invite - usually mother's sister who lives close or just family, but it can be friends or visiting family members. There are also some thoughts on what to cook. Here is one tradition that I have started - mother or I make one (or more) completely new dish that have caught our fancy. It is even more fun (and I'm not sarcastic here!) since if 31st falls on a workday, it is still a workday only a shortened one, so we have to rush to finish everything in time.

Another tradition - kinda! - is that every year father says that we won't have a tree this year and nothing mother and I say can change his mind. But on 30th or 31st he brings one home saying that it is not a New Year if there is no tree. Then we pull out toys and lights and decorate it together. Most of the toys are same ones that we had on tree since out childhood and there are several even from mother's childhood but we also buy a couple of the new ones every year. Well, since usually at least one ends up on the floor we don't have too many toys. Tree stays lit all evenings until we take it down. In my room I also set up a small "tree" made from several branches decorated with smaller toys and i also hang some tinsel around.

So the day of 31st itself is a time of cooking and decorating - and greeting guests who usually pitch in. At about 10pm we set up a big table in the living room even if we don't really need most of the time with only three or four of us. Then it is only finishing in kitchen and sitting around catching up. As our family ended up all over former Soviet Union, we exchange calls all over the day.

At 11pm New Year comes to Krasnoyarsk - where we have some family too - and we have a small celebration with them.
As it comes closer to midnight we all sit at the table and listen to president's speech. Or talk through it as we wait for the Kremlin Clock to start beating a midnight. Then we all stand up and clink our glasses with champaign. Then we eat and talk with TV running in the background on some New Year program or other, once again we don't pay much attention to it, unless there is some "star" that one of us can't stand, then we change program. Some time later we go out to light some fireworks and watch other people lighting their. Then we drink champaign with Moscow and, if we stay awake this long, at 4am with Kharkov where mother's sister and her family lives.

When we have guests it is slightly different, as if I get into the mood I make some small presents and games with prises, but when it is only family I don't bother - at least so far. And when it is family only we usually don't bother with presents.

In the morning we all sleep in and lase around, going for a walk together if the weather is pleasant and staying in and watching old movies if not. Or visiting relatives and friends but it is often left until 2nd.

Do you follow any Soviet traditions of celebrating New Year, e.g. serving the table with mandarines and Olievier salad? Do you watch tradional New Year's movies and the President's speech? Do you have any family tradiotions of seeing New Year Eve?

As said above, my family still follows old Soviet traditions, in fact I still only need to see or smell mandarins at any time of year and I immediately feel like New Year is just around the corner and their smell is forever mixed for me with pine and snow smell. Olievier salad is mine and my sister favorite and we insist on making it for most parties but we always have some other salads for those who are tired of this one. And while we still listen to President's speech, we don't always pay much attention to it, it is mostly a lead-up to midnight.
Tags: comparing countries, memories, writer's block

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