Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

After spending most of the day driving, we're back in North Carolina for New Year's Eve.  However, we're not spending the evening having a big night on the town.  In fact, as soon as we got home, my son raced in and put on his pajamas.

However, as always, I look at these events as a learning or growing experience.  And I tend to associate New Year's Eve with an Italian culture.  This is based on two things:
1.  The research I've done indicates that it was the Romans who changed our calendar so that the "new year" started on January 1 rather than the spring equinox.  They named the first month after Janus, the Roman god with two faces that look forward and backwards, the god of doorways, gates, and beginnings and ending.  And so it is that on New Year's we look back over the past year and forward to the new one.
2.  I had an Italian boyfriend (OK, he was from Queens, NY, but from a very Italian family), who said the Italian tradition was that whatever you did on New Year's Eve, you would be doing for the rest of the year.

So what is our family doing this New Year's Eve?  A few years ago, Cool Papa and Miss Nancy (the self-selected names my father and his second wife chose for us to call them when my son was born) gave us a pizza stone, wooden paddle, and pizza wheel for making our own pizzas.  A year or so after that, Grandaddy (the name we used for my husband's father) gave us a bread machine.  And so, Voila!  A blending of the families resulted in a quasi-tradition of making personal pizzas for New Years.  So that is what we are having tonight--dough created in the bread machine, then personal pizzas baked on the pizza stone in the oven.

And as far as the Italian tradition goes.....well, besides posting my blog and cooking, tonight I will be working on a lesson plan, reading an educational policy book, and then reading some fiction.  My son will write on his blog, play on his Wii, and read some books.  My husband (who studies with a Blackfoot traditional Native American teacher) will participate in a sweatlodge (a traditional American Indian spiritual ceremony).

So if that is how we end up spending the new year, well, we'll be doing pretty well, I think.

PS--There is one other thing I did tonight... but I'll share about that tomorrow.

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