Thank the Universe for our friends Sarah and Mika who do not let parenthood get in the way of having parties and gatherings to celebrate festive holidays. New Years Eve is typically not a big holiday for us not only because we are parents but because it seems to be the most overrated holiday on the calendar. (But last year's wedding celebration on NYE for Marcos & Jessica was a big fat exception.)
So we joined a handful of friends (mostly parents also) for a low key but Waller-iffically unique New Years Eve. One thing I had never seen or heard about before was a Finnish tradition of casting tin. Basically you melt these special (lead?) horseshoes on a ladle then once molten, pour it into a bucket of cold water. The resulting shape is then examined by holding it up to the light and looking at the resulting shadow. Based on certain shapes, it can tell what your future holds for the year. Where this broke down is the interpretation and it struck me as so subjective that depending on how much Salmiakki Koskenkorva (Vodka with licorice) one has been drinking you could say anything. Behold.
Since there were many little ones who would not stay awake until Midnight, we celebrated at 7 pm Pacific Time with noisemakers and the traditional Auld Lang Syne song played by Mika on the ukulele, Ken on the flute and Paul on the beat box.
It was a lovely time and made us feel like we got to take part in the celebration with friends, the rest of the world and our daughter, while learning about other cultural traditions.
Happy New Year to everyone and may 2012 be a good one for all of us.