For the first time ever, our little family spent New Year's Eve alone -- just the four of us. My brother was planning to go to town and my parents "upstairs" (which is really up the hill from us) had guests for the evening. We had invitations to two parties, and originally planned to go, but were just feeling too homey and tired. So we stayed home.
It was very strange to begin with, and hard to find the spirit in a holiday that frankly doesn't mean much to us (we celebrate the year passing constantly; New Year's is just an arbitrary day to us). But as the evening went on, we found our groove, and followed it. We made a bunch of yummy foods, began a puzzle that somebody had handed the kids at the recycling depot, and finally went outside to bang pots and pans at midnight. Then we sang Auld Lang Syne, as we always do. Then, magic happened. As we stood there on the frozen porch, looking out into the darkness across the property, a bright light emerged from the other side of the road. As it began bouncing down the lane towards the end of our driveway we recognized its gait, ran in to get our shoes, and ran out to meet it as it charged down the driveway. It was Uncle Adrian! Down the driveway he ran, banging his pot and pan, and we joined him so happily! Then of course we all went upstairs to awaken the grandparents from their quiet evening with guests. I was a bit nervous about interrupting them, but really -- it was midnight -- how could we not?! What a great evening! Family found in so many ways.