Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 New Year's Eve Celebration

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Our family New Year's eve celebration for 2009 was a time of great hope and joy for my family! Like most Pinoys, our family are also set to achieve prosperity and other wishes in the coming year by observing some Filipino New Year traditions like preparing food for our media noche (Spanish for midnight), placing round fruits on the table, wearing polka dots, placing coins on the windows and stairs or using stuff around the house with circle designs on it and greeting New Year with loud noises but only through the use of torotot (cardboard horns), jingling coins and car horns (in lieu of the firecrackers and other pyrotechnics that most Pinoys enjoy using).

In addition to those common tradition, however, we wanted to make our New Year's Eve a meaningful one. At 9pm, we held our Family Home Evening. Here's our Family Home Evening New Year's Eve Program: (the assignments were done by draw lots like what we always do on our regular Monday Family Home Evenings).

Presiding: Papa Joselito Ojeda
Conducting: Kuya Mike Ojeda
Opening Hymn: (Videoke accompaniment) - We Three Kings of Orient Are
Opening Prayer: Frannie (3 years old daughter of my brother Joel)
Spiritual Thought: Ian Benedict Ojeda (10 year old son of my brother Allan)
Lesson: Joel Ojeda (it is his first time and he did very well.I think he is a born teacher and a comedian)
- Developing Our Talents
Games: Papa and Imee

- Passy Duck Quak for adults
- Hep Hep Hooray for kids
- Hep Hep Hooray for adults
- Newspaper dance for kids
- Chico Couple Dance contest for adults
- Guess What's on the Bowl? for both kids and adults

Whose Resolution? Game: Mhe-anne
Closing Hymn: Auld Lang Syne
Closing Prayer: Jay-M Ojeda(9 year old son of my brother Mike)
Media Noche
Watch Fireworks, Making Noises and Jumping to get taller

Whose Resolution? Game
Since New Year is a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year, our family wants to know what's everyone's want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through some changes in their lives in year 2010.

I have everyone written down a new year's resolution on the slip of paper and they put the same in the can. Then, I pulled one slip of paper out of the can at a time and read it out loud. Everyone has to guess who they think made that resolution. The person who guessed it right wins a prize. There were three winners. Then I read the rest of the resolutions and the person comes forward to elaborate on what he or she has written!

From the list, I came up with Top Ten New Year's Resolution of my family.

1. Be Sealed in the Temple
"Family Life is the best method for achieving happiness in this world, and it is clear pattern...(of) what is to be in the next world." Spencer W. Kimball

It is almost everyone's desire to be an eternal family by getting our family sealed this year. Me and my two brothers Mike and Allan are already endowed and they are also sealed with their respective families, so we needed to help Joel and my parents to get endowed as well so I can get sealed with my family and Joel to his family as well. We will help the family achieve this goal by doing all that we can to make family home evenings regular and a good experience.

2. Be Patient
It seems that all mothers' patience is being tested this year since my three sisters -in-law have a common new year's resolution of having more patience. They do not realized that they are the most patient kind of all!

3. Be Kind
It is always revealing what kids want to change in their lives. My three nephews James, Jay-M and Jay-A who has been specially naughty this year committed to be kinder and stop fighting with their siblings.It was sweet to hear them apologize to those who had been hurt somehow by their actions.

4. Be active in the Church and Read the Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures and Church Magazines
My family vowed to make this year a year to learn more about the scriptures and about the doctrines of the Church. My parents especially committed to not miss a single sacrament meeting and Sunday School this year. We will also have a family scripture reading of the Book of Mormon during our family home evening. Also we resolve to have a personal reading of the Book of Mormon daily.

5. Spend More Time With Family
This year my brothers want to spend more time with their respective families by coming home early for family dinners and family prayers. We will evaluate our family home evenings and will work to improve them. Work shouldn't always come first!

6. Quit Drinking
One of the resolutions that I picked out from the can to be guessed was "I won't drink anymore". There were three names that we thought have a problem with drinking once in a while, so other guessed it is them. But it was all wrong. The one who actually wrote the resolution is our guest Joy, who is the niece of my sister- in- law Imee. But even then we could not ignore the fact that our family members have some problems with it as well, so they committed to overcome it and observe the Word of Wisdom this year and in the year to come!

7. Save and Get Out of Debt
For some family members money was a big source of stress in 2009 and have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. Before the year ends, we have resolved to pay debts starting from the smallest to the biggest and was successful in keeping only a few major but necessary debts. For 2010, we resolve to pay tithing and then pay ourselves first before other expenses. We promise that we will maintain each person savings account.

8. Be healthy and enjoy life more
We resolved to be healthy and live a less stressful lifestyles this year so we can enjoy life more.If there's anything in our life that is keeping us from being healthy - we'll get rid of it. Then we will try some good exercise, get more sleep and engage in recreational activities to meet just about anyone's wishes to be healthy and enjoy life.

9. Be more persistent and work hard
This year has been a trying one for my brother Joel doing a freelancing job connected with the media. He resolved to be more aggressive at finding a more permanent job and working hard to keep them. He resolve to be more active in the Church while doing it.

10. Have a home improvement
My nephew Ian was the one who said he wanted to have some changes in their room - make it bigger. Although it seems like a "stray" resolution considering what the other kids have written (and he cried of embarrassment when he realized that his goal is more of a materialistic wish). But I believe that for a wholistic improvement in my family, some temporal things should also be taken cared of. I believe that my nephew feels that their room is becoming very small for their growing family, them growing older. Since there is no way to widen their room, I offered to turn the visitors room as the boys' room and they will be the one to sleep there except when I have visitors. He committed to be responsible in cleaning the room and maintaining order there.

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