These days I ring in the New Year in a low-key manner.  If I’m in Detroit it’s family time at home and watching the ball drop at midnight.

The one New Year’s Eve I’ve spent in Boston so far was even quieter: reading on the couch with my cats, and then watching the ball drop. The solitude was special; it seemed I could feel the year turn.

New Year’s Eve was more of an occasion when I was growing up.  New children born into the family that year were the stars of the show as the New Year Baby.

New Year's Baby
Introducing Miss 1969…me!
New Year's Baby
My brother, Mr. 1973, and I…looks like a party to me!

As those babies got older they spent the night with their grandparents while their parents went to parties.  And this was special.

Grandma, or Yaya as I called her (she isn’t Greek, but my cousins’ grandma was, and I liked the name), made banica (say bon-ee-tsa), a cheese pastry similar to spinach pie minus the spinach, and a tiny bit sweet.

This picture is the best match I could find to the way my family made banica.

Hours went into the preparation of this treat, stretching dough into super-thin sheets to swaddle that cheesy deliciousness…my mouth is watering!

We had banica throughout the year back then for different occasions – a slow cooking tradition we have gradually lost to the hectic pace of life. But New Year’s Eve was special.

Yaya carefully wrapped four dimes (one for each grandchild) in wax paper, and baked them into the confection.

Finding a coin meant good luck for the following year.

Being a savvy woman she would casually suggest we each start with a corner piece…and a New Year’s miracle would occur…we all found a dime!

Such great memories…what New Year’s traditions did you celebrate or still honor today?  Any other New Year’s Babies out there?  Share in the comments!  And…


Ringing in 1987--perm, denim dress, shoulder pads and all!
Ringing in 1987–perm, denim dress, shoulder pads and all!


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