Sometimes, some of your best family traditions can start by accident.  One of our favorite traditions started that way, when I was an guilt-ridden, exhausted mother of young children--looking for a way to celebrate New Year's and get the kids to bed early. 

Lights above Temple SquareChristmas is a Christmas is a crazy busy time for our company and several years ago, I felt bad that we hadn't been downtown yet to see the Christmas Lights at Temple Square.  The magic of all those tiny lights together were always one of my favorite parts of the holidays.  When New Year's came that year, I knew I had one more night before the lights were turned off and we'd have to wait until next year.  So we headed into town on New Year's Eve to see the lights.

I think I was honestly too tired to walk around and we ended upstairs in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building at the Garden Restaurant overlooking the block just as the sun was setting and the lights were coming on.  It was beautiful to relax and watch as night fell over the city and the lights came on.  The food was good, the kids were good and we discovered fried pickles.  This young mother discovered some peace during the busy holiday season.  

So, at the risk creating a long wait at the restaurant, I recommend this tradition to you.  Over the years, we've stayed after dinner to catch some of the Eve traditions, concerts around Temple Square, or a carriage ride around town, but our favorite tradition has remained--dinner overlooking the lights as sun sets on the year.  

Wishing you a hopeful and prosperous New Year.

Crossposted on Janet's Zap The Grandma Gap Blog.