An Old Tradition for the New Year

Back in “the old days,” my late husband and I started a tradition on New Year’s Eve. After the children were in bed, we would comfortably sit on the living room couch, open a bottle of wine, light a few candles, listen to the continuous countdown of the year’s top hits on the stereo, and browse slowly through the pages of the old kitchen calendar.

1986_Dec_Calendar

Our Last New Year’s Eve
December 1986

Our kitchen calendar was the perfect tool which reflected what took place during the year; penned in birthday parties, hockey games, appointments, hockey games, special projects, hockey games, out-of-town visitors, hockey games, doctor appointments, oh, and did I mention, hockey games? Memories of the months just passed gave us reasons to laugh; collectively, a reason to be thankful for all that we had, namely, our family.

DoNotOpenUntil

This one remains unopened

One year, I had the bright idea (or too much wine) to add a new ritual to this endeavor, we would write our predictions for the coming year, seal it in an envelope, label it, “Do Not Open ‘Til New Year’s Eve” and staple it to the last page of the calendar. Typically, our predictions were focused on our own little family rather than world events. Some of our predictions were way off base while others seemed intuitive; regardless, we were quite entertained with our predictions which occasionally reminded us of events we forgot!

Since the boys have grown up and moved away, the kitchen calendar now hangs on the fridge door rather than a kitchen bulletin board. Instead of its days being filled with conflicting hockey schedules and activities for the boys, the calendar is much less full, nearly empty now, except for doctor appointments. After Gerrit died, I abandoned this old tradition of reviewing the year, reading the previous year’s predictions and writing new ones. Yet, I still save every kitchen calendar; I guess old habits die hard.

As this new year unfolds, I choose rather than to make resolutions, to have more “hopes”  – I would hope to have less doctor appointments on the calendar, better health and more fun penciled in.

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4 responses to “An Old Tradition for the New Year

  1. Me too. I don’t resolve. That would imply I had control over the situation. Instead, I hope. That the echo will show less deterioration, that no nasty symptoms will show up, health care costs won’t skyrocket, doctors will be sane and sympathetic and give me meds that works and don’t make me sick. And maybe we will get to see more friends, get out more for things other than doctor’s appointments.

    Small dreams? Maybe not so small.

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  2. I came across this April 1986 calendar while reminiscing with my friend about her wedding and the rehearsal dinner. The wedding was held on April 19th and the rehearsal dinner on April 18th, 31 years ago today. My friend reminded me of this and asked me “can you believe that?” No, not really. Time goes fast, too fast. I am not even sure of the name of the lady who wrote this post/blog but I am happy I found it. I too review my calendars from time to time which causes me to reminisce about the past year or even on events that took place the prior year. Even though I do not know this woman or her family, I enjoyed reading the notes that made up the fabric of their every day lives. It is like looking at photos of people I don’t know. Despite that fact, I enjoy looking at their faces and learning about them. I feel that it was meant for me to see this April 1986 calendar and read the woman’s post. I am sad for her that her calendar is less full now but she can revel in the thought of a life well lived. As a gift, this woman should pass along the tradition and buy calendars for her (now grown) children and their families. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings. We are kindred spirits, those of us who reminisce by reviewing our calendars. Mine are mostly filled with doctor appointments now more than hockey schedules for the boys, but, memories are always with us. Thanks again for stopping by! 😀

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