Oh, what a night! (And giveaway!)

Maybe it’s just me, but in the holiday season I seem to often overlook the one right at the end of the year…you know, the evening of December 31st.  New Year’s Eve.

I’ve celebrated it in every kind of way over the years.  Big restaurant parties, big bashes at my home, smaller get-togethers when we all try to stay up until midnight.  I remember stepping over Son2 who was sprawled on the hallway rug, out like a light, during one of our big party nights when he was determined to stay up…that was at 9 pm! Oh, I secretly envied that kid who got his regular night’s sleep after all.

One of my favorite ways to usher in a new year was a tradition we had when the boys were quite small.  We’d go to the beach with a couple of other families, dragging our Christmas trees with us.  There, as the sun went down, we’d share food and sand toys and then burn the old trees in a fire ring, ending by toasting marshmallows.  It was a great few years (especially because we got home early and didn’t even try to stay up) but then we had a couple of rainy New Year’s in a row and we moved onto other ways of celebrating.

I’ve written two books that use New Year’s Eve as a starting point.  One was NOT ANOTHER NEW YEAR’S that came out a few years ago.  Now I have a new book coming out January 4, THEN HE KISSED ME, and the plot begins on New Year’s night.  Stevie Baci (middle of the Baci sisters) has her own limousine service in the California wine country.  And she’s been contracted to drive around a newly engaged couple…her ex-boyfriend and the woman he took up with right after their break-up.  For the sake of pride she couldn’t refuse–right?  And Stevie finds another man in the back of her limo, a beautiful man named Jack who just happens to rub her the wrong way (or is that the very right way?)

I’m giving away a $15 Amazon gift certificate to a lucky commenter! Tell me about a memorable New Year’s Eve or a New Year’s tradition you enjoy.

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59 Responses to Oh, what a night! (And giveaway!)

  1. Emmanuelle says:

    hey Christie,
    Congrats on the upcoming release of Then He Kissed Me !! I’ve been a very patient girl and still have Crush on You on my TBR pile. I’ve been waiting for book 2 to come out so I can read both in a raw (that’s what I usually do when books are released several months apart).
    I just can’t wait !!
    Now, no tradition to share sorry. Just plain good time with family and friends and delicious food. (your “beach fiesta” sounds awesome by the way ;-).

  2. cindy gerard says:

    Hey Christie!
    I’m so impressed that you maneuvered your way onto our new WordPress site! Bravo.
    And yea on the new release!! Love a New Year’s theme.

    The past few years we have had the grand kids over for New Year’s to spend the night. We celebrate with noise makers, party hats, sparkling non alcoholic champagne and have a wing ding time … all over by 9:00pm LOL. Although we always get a clock and set it ahead to midnight and take a photo of the party animals just to make Mom and Dad think we kept them up that late :o)

  3. Michele Benard says:

    Hi Christie
    Can’t wait for the new book. For me staying awake is the key lol. I think I like smaller gatherings with friends on New Years.

  4. Kathleen Eagle says:

    You did it, Christie!

    It’s been years since we did anything really special on New Year’s Eve. We had a really fun little party. Everyone wore a hat–something that “revealed character”–and we videotaped everyone making New Year’s resolutions.

  5. Laney4 says:

    I have done the big dressup party with hundreds of others, and I came home with sore feet and a headache. I have done the house party at a friend’s place and thought that midnight would never arrive. My favourite time, though, was when I was visiting my sister and her family. My BIL made these wooden “clackers”, and at precisely midnight, we all ran outside in our slippers in the snow and clacked, clacked, clacked REALLY noisily, screaming and “whee-hawing” Ha-ppy New Year” for all to hear! I miss those times, but they live 2,000 miles away and traveling there just isn’t in the budget this year….

  6. CrystalGB says:

    Congrats on your upcoming release. Sounds great. We usually watch movies and then at midnight we watch the ball drop in Times Square.

  7. kris says:

    congrats! I am so excited for this release!!! and I love your ex-tradition of burning the trees on the beach. very cool. I prefer to have my new year’s very low key and enjoying going to bed early, but friends of ours have an annual party that we always end up at.

  8. christieridgway says:

    Hey, Emmanuelle, there’s a thanks to you at the end of THEN HE KISSED ME! I need to send a copy to you in France.

    Thanks for sharing your different New Year’s Eves, everyone. I just remembered another tradition we used to do (before kids). You had to throw all the change you have on you out into the street. Then we had children & wanted to save all our money for diapers and such!

  9. ellie says:

    Congratulations on the release. We have a quiet but meaningful New Years with a wonderful tradition of sharing our hopes for the coming year and the past memories which are unforgettable.

  10. kylie brant says:

    Yay for Christie’s driving today! She effortlessly steered her way to our new wordpress site! I have loved your new cover ever since I first saw it. Can’t wait to read the story!

  11. Angelique says:

    I don’t know that I have a favorite New Year’s tradition, but my dad does! New Year’s Day meal ALWAYS consists of black eyed peas and hamhock. It’s a Southern tradition that’s supposed to bring good luck. (27 years of making this meal and Mom is still waiting on that good luck. LOL)

  12. Emmanuelle says:

    Really ??!!!?? Coooool
    And we won’t mention why, will we Christie ? LOL

  13. christieridgway says:

    Emmanuelle: I figured you’d know why!

    Angelique: I’ve heard of the black-eyed peas tradition before. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them, though. When I was growing up, we always had Chinese food on New Year’s Day.

  14. Pam Keener says:

    Wow what an interesting premise. Congrats on the book.
    I really love New Years eve celebrations at home with family and friends.
    We toast Midnight and then have a big old pj party. No one gets to leave.
    In the morning we have a kick butt breakfast & perhaps move to another
    place for dinner or maybe not.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam

  15. Stephanie says:

    My most memorable New Years Eve was 2000 when I spent the day at the De Young museum right before it closed for renovarions and then spent the night at a hotel with my best friends and my brother and his best friends, I need to preface this with we were teenagers but we ended up putting makeup on the guys and painting their nails and dressing them up!

  16. We always go out and bang on pots and pans. My dad told me that was what they did in his family to drive away bad spirits–an old Hill tradition from the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. Looking forward to the new book!

  17. Mindy says:

    I think Not Another New Year’s Eve was one of the first books of yours that I read-maybe the one that hooked me on your books. I look forward to reading your great stories. Can’t wait to curl up with another great book on a cold January night!

  18. Kris says:

    We have Sauerkraut and Pork on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck. As with the Black-eyed Peas, we’re still waiting on the good luck! 🙂 We have pretty low-key celebrations now, but one of our best was New Year’s Eve in Pittsburgh at an Elvis concert. Great music from a legend, great friends, and a very crowded, but fun breakfast buffet in our first little apartment. Nice to revisit good memories!

  19. lois says:

    Love the New Year’s Eve beach idea. Not going to work here in the far north, though. You’d have to shovel your way down to the sand.

  20. Maureen says:

    When our kids were younger we would have whatever they wanted for dinner so they chose the meal and then we would try to stay up to see the ball drop. Congratulations on your new book and the new great website!

  21. Kelly S says:

    Currently, our tradition is to stay home and read by the fire. I like it.

    Two memorable New Year’s were 1999, when working in I.T. we had to man the “war room” in case of computer crashes. I worked for a utility at the time.

    About a year or 3 before that, a very close male friend of mine chose to break off our friendship (and it was only a friendship – no interest in dating him) because I “wasn’t cool enough” since he had moved from the burbs into the city. I spent the night with him, 2 other friends, and a bunch of people I didn’t know at a party and then freezing in below zero temperatures at Navy Pier in Chicago. That night sucked.

    With better thoughts, congratulations on the new release! I look forward to reading it.

  22. Brianne says:

    The last 5 years or so we have had the pleasure of shooting silly string at each other at midnight. Something my 9 year old nephew gets a kick out of. 🙂

  23. christieridgway says:

    Phoo on that “friend,” Kelly! I’m glad you’ve had better since.

    Gosh, remember when we worried about what would happen in 2000? We stockpiled some cash in case the ATMs didn’t work. Of course, all went just fine.

    • Kelly S says:

      Thanks. My “friend” was really a piece of work. I was thrilled when he got twins. He needed to grow up.

      Hellion – very cute story!

  24. Eileen says:

    I pull out the envelope that has last New Year’s Eve’s resolutions on it, re-read it, and see if I’ve accomplished what I set out to do a year ago. If I didn’t get to it, I re-add it to this coming year’s list along with the new things I want to do, and then tuck it away in an envelope for next New Year’s Eve. I reflect on the year, forgive myself for whatever I need to, and ask for guidance for the coming year. It sounds elaborate, but it’s just a private thing I do for myself. And a glass of something bubbly to go along with it. We all should toast ourselves first. 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  25. Jessica Cross says:

    I don’t have a new years tradition, I usually fall asleep before midnight anyway. LOL
    “And Then He Kissed Me” sounds exactly like something I would snatch up right away. I love “revenge” type story lines. I can’t wait to read it. BTW I LOVED Not Another New Year’s. Happy Holidays and Have a Happy New Year!

  26. Terry Odell says:

    When we moved to Florida, I found the southern tradition of “hoppin john” which became a New Year’s Day staple. Years later, when my son moved out, he asked me for the recipe for “Johns Hopkins.”

    Terry
    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

  27. Hellion says:

    My Dad’s birthday is on NYE–so no wild limo rides for me. But lots of angel food cake, watching the ball drop, and keeping it low key.

    Though I do love the story my friend Pam shares about she and her husband–they’re the opposites attract variety, she is a good girl and he was a wild child in high school. The first NYE they spent together–he was wild about her–she was very excited and telling him what they’d be doing. (He was used to drinking and passing out ever since he was old enough to stay up, mind, and she was not of that ilk.) “We’ll watch the countdown with Dick Clark and watch the ball drop!” she said excitedly. “What ball?” he asked quite seriously. “You know, the NYE ball.” “No, I don’t.” So then she had to explain; and he had to explain. Apparently he was generally passed out by the time the ball dropped. Anyway, he was pretty excited that year–he got to spend NYE with a pretty girl and see a ball–he’d never known about–drop in NY.

  28. christieridgway says:

    Oh, Hellion, that is the cutest story! Thanks for sharing it.

  29. Kristine Riggs says:

    I cannot remember ever having a consistent New Years tradition outside of watching the ball drop every year for a while there as a kid… BUT one New Years I will never forget was 2005’s. That year, my hubby & I left my oldest with his grandma and booked an overnight stay right on the water. To ring in the new year, we began working on son number two. It was a magical evening and something like a 2nd honeymoon. We did not get pregnant, but it was fun trying. By spring, we did get our New Years’s wish however 🙂 And this Sunday, he turns four!

  30. Donna S says:

    Congrats on the upcoming release!!! Sounds great, really looking forward to it.

    I dont have a set tradition. Some years its staying home and some years its going to a family or friends house. Depends on whats going on.

  31. christieridgway says:

    Kristine: That sounds like a lovely time! Always fun working on making babies.

  32. Minna says:

    The only tradition I can think of is watching Dinner for One on tv.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinner_for_One

  33. LSUReader says:

    Congrats on the new release. Hubby and I just like to stay in and celebrate with champagne at home (if we can stay awake that long!)

  34. chey says:

    Congrats on your new release. I’ll never forget New Years Eve 1996-7. I spent it a big party outdoors in Edinburg.

  35. MaryC says:

    I would like to know how having Chinese food on New Year’s Eve started.

    I remember having my hair done on December 30 one year and some of the women were discussing what time to place their orders to ensure delivery. My hairdresser then asked me what my family had on New Year’s Eve (I’m Chinese). I told her my brother decided that we should have strawberry shortcake and as we got older, champagne was added.

  36. catslady says:

    For about 5 years now our family and my uncle’s girlfriend’s family have been getting together for movies and dinner. Not everyone can make it every year but it’s usually at least a dozen people or more. Some start watching movies in the morning and go well into the evening with a break for dinner and then we go to their home and celebrate with champagne! It’s a great way to start off the new year but you should see how complicated it gets lol.

  37. Cindy McCune says:

    The year 2000 was most memorable to me…I lived in a small town (SMAAALLL). At the local park there was a canon on display and the township decided to load and fire it 20 times. There was dancing and kissing and laughing…you know…fun 🙂

  38. barbaralongley says:

    Love the new digs, and especially since I’ve been at wordpress for a few years now. Congrats on the new release! We used to have a New Year’s tradition in my family. We’d gather, watch corny, sappy movies, have smoked oysters, pickled herring and other sundry not-so-popular items and just enjoy each others company.

    Barb

  39. Lisa Boggs says:

    Congrats on your new release! Honestly i don’t have alot of memorable New Years moments. We don’t usually go out and party and my husband is a truck driver so he’s usually on the road right after Christmas. A few years back when my kids were smaller though we had pizza and the 3 boys and i saw around the living room eating and watching all the New Years activities on TV and stayed up to watch the ball watch. Not big adult fun but it seemed to be a fun night for the boys so it’s good.

    Lisa B

  40. Carol says:

    This one started on New Years but finished two weeks later……..One year when I was in college, my sister had a New Years party at our house. I had had my wisdom teeth taken that week and was on medication but that didn’t stop me from the party. Of course the combo made me very woozy and I don’t remember too much. Move forward two weeks and I’m back at college and decided to participate in the campus blood drive. Completely skipped the question “have you recently had teeth extracted?” and moved on to the donation table. Two short hours later I ended up giving more blood than I planned when I passed out in class and received 8 stitches in my forehead….

    I won’t ever forget that New Years or what happened after.

  41. Heather says:

    Friends and I went out a few times during the college years, but the bars are so packed you can’t move or talk, and we couldn’t stand the cigarette smoke, so about 15 yrs ago we started getting together at a friend’s house every year. We have a buffet dinner (which means grazing all night long and into the next day), open Christmas presents, then talk, laugh and play games until the wee hours of the morning. Most of us stay the night, then spend the next day together watching movies or — like this year — the Rose Bowl together. Family friendly, always more than enough food, and we don’t have to worry about drunk drivers.

  42. Jane says:

    If I was brave enough to deal with the crowds, I would head to Times Square, but we just watch the ball drop on TV and then have a little champagne.

  43. christieridgway says:

    More great NYE memories and ideas!

    MaryC: I think we started having Chinese on NYE when I was a kid because we have really great food available in my hometown (on the San Francisco Bay Peninsula) and everyone loved it (including grandparents, aunt & uncle, cousins). I can still smell the prawns frying. It was a really tiny place we’d go to, take-out only, and you could stand in the itsy bitsy waiting area and watch the cooks at work through the glass. Hah. I just remembered it was called the China Chef. Not there anymore, but a bigger place w/eat-in & take-out is nearby and when I go home we usually always get a meal from there.

  44. Jennifer D. says:

    Hello,

    I’m not a big New Year’s Eve person, but one year my brother & his friend came into the city and decided to hang out with me and my friends at this ticketed bar party. Eventually, he and his friend were “ejected” from the party – so my roommate and I followed. The cab ride home was a riot. I had to convince his friend to stay inside the cab because every 2 minutes he thought we reached my apartment (which in actuality was about a 20 minute ride away). I smile every time I think of that evening. Fun times. Congrats on the new book!!

  45. Keri Ford says:

    congrats on the release!

    We’re typically in bed. watching fireworks on tv. not terribly inspiring, but then we’re comfy and warm in bed and not dealing with the traffic!

  46. christieridgway says:

    Carol: Glad your NYE adventure wasn’t more serious than some stitches. Yikes!

    With so many of us enjoying “at-home” evenings on December 31st, I only more am in awe of the party animals who can keep celebrating to midnight and beyond. Even when I was in my twenties I remember having a hard time staying up until midnight. But I’ve never been a night owl. I’m a morning person.

  47. Barbara Elness says:

    When my son was younger, our tradition was to go to to dinner and the movies on New Year’s Eve. It was a fun way to spend the evening that we could all enjoy.
    My favorite thing to do on New Year’s Day was to go to lunch with a group of friends, but since I’ve moved across the country I don’t get to do that anymore.

  48. Stephenia says:

    Love the new site. I can’t think of any clever New Year’s memories, my hubby and I like staying home these days. If we stay awake long enough I still like that good old midnight kiss!

  49. Quilt Lady says:

    Congrats on your new release! I will have to say we don’t celebrate News Years Eve, we just watch TV or play on the computers.

  50. mjfredrick says:

    A group of teacher friends gather at one teacher’s house. We eat Mexican food and laugh and play poker until the wee hours–it’s a blast!

  51. Dina says:

    Congrats on your release. I stay home with my grandkids and watch a Fred Astaire movie, nothing special.

  52. WendyMT says:

    Yay for your new release!! Can’t wait to read it! Let me think about New Year’s Eve traditions … none yet. With a 4 yr old and a 6 yr old, by midnight, I’m grateful for sleep, if I can get there 🙂 My biggest wish is to be laying in bed reading a really fun book before shutting out the lights. Congratulations!!

  53. Linda Henderson says:

    I’ve never been much of one to go out on New Year’s Eve, I’m not fond of crowds. I usually stay home with family and watch the ball drop. Not very exciting, but much safer than being on the roads with all the intoxicated people.

  54. chelleyreads says:

    for new years in the last couple of years, my family and i all go to church because there’s a year end party and stay until midnight. because a couple of minutes before midnight hits the entire congregation prays so we ring in the new year with a prayer.

  55. Laurie G says:

    On New Year’s Eve we stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square. We usually watch Dick Clark’s show or hop between the different stations coverage. Football on Jan 1! Rose Bowl Go Badgers!!

  56. runner10 says:

    I like the new site.
    On New Year’s Eve, we usually stay home and watch movies.

  57. Emma says:

    Congrats on your release.We have Sauerkraut and Pork on New Year’s Eve .We stay home and watch movies.

  58. Rebecca Skeens says:

    Can’t wait to read it! I love your books!

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