New Year’s Eve past and present

First of all, a very big Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope 2018 holds wonderful surprises for you!

As we prepared to step into 2018, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much life has changed over the years. I’m sure you can relate, especially if you’re a mom and/or … on the other side of your twenties! New Year’s Eve used to be a big night of partying all around the city and now, it’s definitely a lot simpler!

I thought it might be fun to share some of how I used to enjoy the big celebration in the past compared to what it is like today. Perhaps you can relate?

New Year’s Eve past

When I was in my twenties, life was one big party. I’m sure it was the same for many of us. The thing is, it was especially so for me because I had a very strict upbringing. I wasn’t allowed to go out and party with my friends and in fact, I still had a curfew even in my early twenties! It really sucked but then, in hindsight it also kept me safe and out of trouble!

When I was finally allowed to join the social scene I started really enjoying New Year’s Eve. I’d round up my girlfriends and we’d go party-hopping all night up until midnight. We usually managed about four or five house parties by midnight. It was exciting getting dressed up together and meeting tons of new people throughout the night.

After midnight, we headed either to Camps Bay beach or more often up the mountain to Signal Hill to wait for the sunrise.

Waiting for the sun to rise while standing on top of a mountain with a group of bedraggled, well-dressed party go-ers is an experience I’ll always remember. While waiting we’d be mingling, sharing candles and blankets and waiting. By the time the sun rises over the Cape Town city bowl and the light reaches the ocean you’re awed at the beauty of nature. There’s a hush as everyone savors this experience.

This is how I celebrated New Year’s every single year as a single girl.

New Year’s Eve present

Now that we are a family, things are slightly different! Our kids are too little for us to go to a proper New Year’s Even party but old enough to know it’s a special occasion. So instead of going out we do something out of the ordinary at home that they can enjoy with us.

I let them help all day with making snacks and choosing our movies for the evening. This year we also cooked a glazed gammon and roast potatoes and it turned out perfect! Alex and I also made a peppermint tart (which actually didn’t turn out as whipped as I’d have liked because I got pouring cream instead of whipped cream!). Nevertheless it was delicious and we also had ice cream so no complaints!

We got into our pajamas very early. We laid all the food and snacks out on the table and watched the movie, The Guardian which is one of our favorites that the kids have never seen. At about 11:30, Alex looked like a zombie so we all pretended to go to bed. She fell asleep immediately!

Josh stayed up until midnight when we went for a walk outside just the two of us. The fireworks were exploding all around the neighborhood making it sound like a war zone. You could also hear cars hooting in the streets and crowds of people shouting and having a good time all around. While outside we talked about the highs and lows of the past year and our hopes for the next.

All in all, it’s very different now from ten years ago but I would not change a single thing about the past AND how we celebrate New Year”s Eve now!

All the best to you and yours for 2018! Please leave me a comment below and let me know how you celebrated New Year’s Eve!


Anthea O'Neill is a wife and proud mom of three. She is front-end web developer, blogger and a self-proclaimed glitter & yarn addict. Anthea's Project Life is a blog for the modern mom.

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  1. Eloise says:

    Firstly…Happy New Year!! You are so right…compared to before marriage and children we pre-partied the New Years 2 days before til 2 days after. From one club to another…the NYE count down at Big Bay ( yeah not a building except for lifeguard house in site)…-to Melkbosstrand waking up 2nd New Year to old smoky braai and fresh waves breaking at your feet…I wouldn’t have changed a thing…I wish my kids could grew up in that era where it was safe enough to do this. Now 20 years later…my 16 year old is at the “dad will fetch you by 12.30” stage….and I spent New Years Eve watching old series…listening to the much needed rain..calming my animals with the dreaded fireworks… And reading all the posts on Facebook and WhatsApp…I can’t say I don’t miss those days…now I can party like a rock star but apparently I can’t recover like one…Anthea !! Here’s to another year of great friendship and entertaining us with your awesome blog. 🎉🎆🎈

    1. That sounds sooo nice! The beach NYE parties that is! I also wish so much our kids could be out more. The other thing I noticed is that everyone used to say “compliments of the season” at this time after New Year’s and nobody does anymore. It makes me sad! Yes! Another year of blogging and friendship!

  2. Pamela says:

    your up-bringing seems to have been perfect considering the young adult/wife/mother you turned out to be. Our hiking club had a family-day out at ‘Dappat se Gat’ (yeah, I never heard of it either lol) in Gordon’s Bay on New Year’s Eve with tons of caves and rocks to climb. My plan was to rest up a bit when I got home and then attend our New Year’s Eve Mass. Needless to say, I fell asleep and woke up after midnight having missed all the fireworks and hooting. A PERFECT EVENING!!!!

    1. Dappat se what? So funny! Sounds like a nice day in nature!

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