Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Countdown Begins...

IN THE NEWS: "A Vermont man is $650,000 richer after retrieving a lottery ticket he had been given for Christmas but accidentally threw away." Read more HERE.

Thank goodness this year is almost over.

Did I just write that?

Ooops. It's weird for me to say that because 2008 started out so great, but then the last quarter of it completely tanked. So... here's to 2009!

And in case you're gonna toast the new year with a little sparkling bubbly, you can bone up on the basics of chilling and serving Champagne at www.champagne.us.
(And just for the record, you can only call it champagne, if it's from the Champagne region in France. Otherwise, it's sparkling wine.) Yes, not as romantic to say, but there you go.
**Hey, this is like one of those "the more you know" kind of messages**

Anyhew, today, my brother is coming over to install my new kitchen chandelier (I'll make sure to take before and afters). Then tonight, me, the hubby and the kiddo are going out to one of my all time favorite restaurants and then we're renting a movie for the evening. I'm not sure but I think the kiddo wants to watch Tinkerbelle the movie. I want Mary Poppins. The hubby is lobbying for Space Chimp.
(Hmm... As you can see there are a lot of low cards in that hand.) I'm in for a long night.

What are your plans for tonight?

8 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

No real plans, but a movie sounds good. Other than that, bed and a book.

Chicki said...

African-American believers all do the same thing on New Year's Eve. This is long, but I hope you'll post it for your readers.

WATCH NIGHT

If you live or grew up in a Black community in the United States, you have probably heard of "Watch Night Services," the gathering of the faithful in church on New Year's Eve. The service usually begins anywhere from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and ends at midnight with the entrance of the New Year. Some folks come to church first, before going to out to celebrate. For others, church is the only New Year's Eve event.

Like many others, I always assumed that Watch Night was a fairly standard Christian religious service -- made a bit more Afrocentric because that's what happens when elements of Christianity become linked with the Black Church. And yes, there is a history of Watch Night in the Methodist tradition. Still, it seemed that most predominately White Christian churches did not include Watch Night services on their calendars, but focused instead on Christmas Eve programs. In fact, there were instances where clergy in Mainline denominations wondered aloud about the propriety of linking religious services with a secular holiday like New Year's Eve.

However, in doing some research, I discovered there are two essential reasons for the importance of New Year's Eve services in African American congregations. Many of the Watch Night Services in Black communities that we celebrate today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as "Freedom's Eve." On that night, Americans of African descent came together in churches, gathering places and private homes throughout the nation, anxiously awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had become law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863, and according to Lincoln's promise, all slaves in the Confederate States were legally free. People remained in churches and other gathering places, eagerly awaiting word that Emancipation had been declared. When the actual news of freedom was received later that day, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God.
But even before 1962 and the possibility of a Presidential Emancipation, African people had gathered on New Year's Eve on plantations across the South. That is because many owners of enslaved Africans tallied up their business accounts on the first day of each new year. Human property was sold along with land and furnishings to satisfy debts. Families and friends were separated. Often they never saw each other again in this earthly world. Thus coming together on December 31 might be the last time for enslaved and free Africans to be together with loved ones.
So, Black folks in North America have gathered annually on New Year's Eve since the earliest days, praising God for bringing us safely through another year and praying for the future. Certainly, those traditional gatherings were made even more poignant by the events of 1863 which brought freedom to the slaves and the Year of Jubilee. Many generations have passed since and most of us were never taught the African American history of Watch Night. Yet our traditions and our faith still bring us together at the end of every year to celebrate once again "how we got over."

Written by Charyn D. Sutton © 2004
charynsutton@aol.com

Stephanie said...

Sadly, I'll probably be sleeping. HA! I don't remember the last time I actually made it until midnight.

Patricia W. said...

Watch Night service (see Chicki's comment above).

When we lived in NY, we always went to an all-night diner for breakfast after leaving church, somewhere around 1 or 2 in the morning. Then we slept til whenever.

No such diner opportunities in FL so we'll just head home, pile into bed, and still sleep til whenever.

Debora D said...

Assorted hot munchies and a movie - the husband of the couple we normally party with on New Year's Eve had to work tonight, so we're staying in.

Don't know if I'll make it to midnight, but we'll see!

Happy New Year.

Chicki said...

Patricia,

Don't you have IHOP or Waffle House there? IHOP in Atlanta on New Year's Eve is just a continuation of church. People from all the churches stop in to get their grub on at Midnight!

Virginia Lady said...

We plan on watching a DVD we got, Wall-E. None of us have seen it and it's safe for everyone, young and old. Happy New Year!

Bella said...

My family are watching House on DVD until midnight. Still have house guests.

Bella