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Old Traditions For A New Year

Families ring in 2014 at Children’s Museum

Many families in our area chose to take advantage of the holiday break from school and work commitments to enjoy one another. On New Year’s Eve, some families honored old traditions, others dreamed up new ones and everyone created lasting memories.

Those who ventured out for a mid-day celebration and countdown at the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City, experienced a space-theme gala featuring a Martian hitching a ride on the countdown ball, which fell at 4 p.m.

“Many parents tell us the don’t make it until midnight anymore and our ball drop is the big moment for them,” said Maureen P. Mangan, museum director of communications.

Mia Ramirez said, each New Year’s Eve, she enjoys spending time with her kids having a special dinner with child-friendly treats and playing board games. The whole family then enjoys a mock countdown at 10 p.m. Fellow mom Kristen had a great idea. She records the countdown from the previous year then plays it for the kids just before their bedtime, getting them to sleep, well before midnight.

Librarian Barbara Grodin, shared her New Year’s Eve tradition. “First we would all go grocery shopping,” she says. “The kids were allowed to chose anything they wanted. Then we set up a blanket in the living room and picnic while watching a family movie until the ball drop at midnight.”

Many people see the coming of a new year as an opportunity to do something new, lose some bad habits and take stock of the past year. Modeling how we do this for our children can assist them in goal setting, improve their memory and may help organize their thinking patterns. While children under 7 may have a difficult time understanding the concept of a “new year,” they can see for themselves how much they’ve changed by looking at pictures and growth chart markings.

Some families use scrapbooks to document the year while others spend time scrolling through pictures. “I simplify my scrapbooking by making a collage page featuring the highlights of the year. I ask the kids to share their favorite things about the past year and I write down their comments under the pictures,” said one East Norwich resident.

“This year we’re trying something new,” said Nikki, who didn’t wish to give her last name. “ I put a jar in the kitchen and placed some index cards next to it. Each time someone did something memorable, they would write it down on an index card and place it in the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we’re planning on opening the jar and reading our favorite moments from the past year.”

Once we’ve seen how far we’ve come in the past year, it’s only natural to want to begin the process of looking ahead. This may entail setting realistic goals. local mom Karen says, “Our family usually writes down three to four things we want to work on improving, whether it’s getting to bed earlier or being more positive. Then we see how we did at the end of the year.”

“We work on goal setting all year long,” says Ramirez. “New Year’s is a nice time, though to reassess how we’re doing and how far we’ve come.”

While reminiscing about her New Year’s celebrations when her children were young, Grodin had this to say, “traditions that you do as a family and remind you of family give you a warm feeling.”

News

School board shows off improvements at Stratford

This month’s Garden City Board of Education meeting saw a boost in attendance, and not just from district residents. This was the first board meeting to be held at Stratford School, so teachers and students there stopped by to show off the best it has to offer.

Leading the pack was school principal Eileen Vota, who gave the board a tour of the school before the meeting got underway. Along the way, highlights of the capital improvement project were pointed out, all a result of the 2009 School Investment Bond and Energy Performance Contract.

The Senior Advisory Committee is the Senior group that helps plan trips, parties, and programs for all seniors in cooperation with the recreation and parks department. It consists of: Kathy Auro, Richard Bankowsky, Evelyn Iagrossi, Joe Leto, Ellen Moynahan, and Gloria Weinrich. Please feel free to suggest trips to anyone on the committee.


Sports

Winter Swim Lesson Registration Announced

The Garden City Recreation Department will be conducting children’s swimming lessons for village residents at the Adelphi University swimming pool in Woodruff Hall on Saturday mornings. Your child must be six years of age by the start of the program to participate. This 10-week session will begin Saturday, Dec. 6. Classes are taught by Red Cross-certified instructors. The cost is $80. These classes are open to residents of the Incorporate Village of Garden City.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com