Friday, January 1, 2016

His Favorite Holiday of the Year

New Years Eve is always tinged with nostalgia and a bit of sadness along with the anticipation of the new year, because it was Leif's favorite holiday. I don't know why, whether it was because of the party atmosphere so unlike other holidays, or the fireworks, which he loved, or something else. He wanted to be celebrating with friends or in a crowd, and most of all, wanted someday to be in Times Square in NYC to watch the ball drop. He never made it. This is our eighth New Years without him.

Our family didn't have any special New Year's traditions, and usually didn't take pictures then. We did stay up to see the new year come in, but that was about it. The most memorable New Years Eve we ever had was when we were living in Sachsen bei Ansbach, Germany, up on the hill where we could look all over the valley and see seven villages. That particular night, there was new fallen snow and a full moon, so everything shown in a soft light. We were watching this from our upstairs veranda, when the fireworks started. We saw the fireworks from all seven villages. How I wish we'd had the video cameras we have today. We don't even have any photos of this magical event. Leif loved it. He was only four or five years old. Perhaps that's what got him started loving New Years.

This photo was taken in January 1977. I no longer remember whether it shows him working with a puzzle he got for Christmas, or whether it was later in the month and was a birthday present. He would have been two years old that January. Bright little fellow that he was, he was already working puzzles. This one was of Oscar the Grouch. It was taken in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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