Pop the Champagne! Release the balloons! On December 31st 2011, I worked my ninth NYE at La Chaumiere: from the age of 16 to 26 I've only missed one NYE (and that was because I was living in New Zealand). Along with all the usual NYE traditions--Champagne at midnight, sparkles and noise-makers, hats that say 2012 in glitter paint, and dancing the night away to live music--there is one really special La Chaumiere New Year's Eve tradition: the Gift Certificate of Oz.
As part of our NYE decorations La Chaumiere always has around a hundred and fifty silver and black helium-filled balloons. At the end of the night we attach a Gift Certificate (dinner for four) to all the balloons that decorated the ceiling that year. Like the yclept Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, they ascend into the atmosphere and on to unknown lands....
....and none of these gift certificates have ever been cashed.
But wait! Two or three years ago, we actually got a call that one of our gift certificates had been found! A gentleman farmer in North Dakota found it tangled up in his fence. We don't have any of his contact information, and haven't seen or heard from him since that one phone call, so long ago.
Now, even though it says "Only Valid for Six Months After Date of Issue," if this farmer still has the certificate, we at La Chaumiere have a message for him: it will be valid for as long as it takes for him to come and pay us a visit.
Happy 2012 everyone! All the best in the coming year from everyone at La Chaumiere Restaurant!