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Wishes at Midnight

Bridgewater and Somerset Hills City Lifestyles Photographer Liz Polo Puts Her Own Spin on a Spanish New Year’s Eve Tradition

Every New Year’s Eve, my family gets dressed up. I mean, really dressed up: I have a sparkly dress I wear each December 31 with high heels. It’s one of the few times I wear high heels during the year. I believe when you get dressed up, it’s like you’re going dancing. I tell my children — Charlize, 12, Michael, 23, and Sara, 11 — that we should set a happy mood as we welcome in the new year. 

We eat dinner at 8, which is a tradition handed down from my husband, Carlos’ family. At midnight, we give a Champagne toast, then we each eat 12 green grapes while making a silent wish for the coming year each time we pop one in our mouths. 

I am Cuban and Carlos is Peruvian. Our grape celebration is a variation of a Spanish New Year’s Eve tradition that we had in both of our families in which people eat one grape each time the clock strikes midnight. Each clock strike and each grape represent the 12 months to come. We added the wishes.

View Liz Polo’s photographs at