Thursday, January 01, 2009
New Year's Traditions
Once upon a time our family moved away from some dear friends. Several months later, one of the friends invited us back for dinner on New Year's Day. The other family was there as well.
Every year since the three families have gotten together for dinner on New Year's Day (or reasonably close to it).
That first year was 1976.
Not everyone can be there every year. But every year each family is represented by at least one member.
And we give gifts. This started naturally enough, because we were good friends getting together shortly after Christmas. The gifts are simple things - but there s always something else.
It's hard to explain exactly how it all started (and it's been tried: each time someone marries into one of the families and wonders why everyone is so excited about radishes and bananas)
I believe my father complained there weren't enough radishes in the salad that first year and every year since he has been presented with radishes as a gift. Sometimes they are artfully arranged, as in the time they were made into "Radish Man", other times, it's simply a bag of radishes.
Rocky gets hot peppers every year - and I'm honestly not sure why - I'm sure someone knows.
My mother always gives the two other families something to do with bananas. And this stems from a trip to Long Beach Island many years ago - when we were all together and my mother spent the time trying to get someone to eat bananas - since she had them and didn't want them to go bad. We started calling her a banana pusher. She took the calling seriously and every year bananas are part of the gift.
Salt is also a traditional gift. Since Dad and Ray love their boats - they're just a couple of 'old salts'.
So every year the New Year is celebrated with good friends and radishes, bananas, peppers and salt. Could you ask for anything more?
Oh yes - this year the boys sang some karaoke as well!