New Year’s Eve and Day and what makes them special

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As the New Year began I couldn’t help but sit back in amazement at all the components that seem to make up New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I think back to almost 16 years ago when I was just a teen and living at home with my parents. It is almost as if it happened yesterday that I’d almost always hear my father say, “You aren’t going anywhere for New Year’s so don’t even ask me!”

At the time, I’d swear that he was punishing me for things I had not even done yet, but as I have aged I’ve learned that there are many aspects of the holiday that people might not know about so my Dad’s warnings were somewhat founded and then outrageously ridiculous. I love him anyway.

Champagne glassesNew Year’s Eve and Day seem to encompass a new outlook on a year gone by and a new year beginning; engrossed with resolutions we want to stick to, a celebration that triggers confetti, streamers and perhaps a great party with our friends. Maybe church is more of your forum and you enjoy the hymns written and sung for the recent birth of a Messiah, or maybe you have graduated to my Mom and Dad’s idea of celebrating: getting into bed early suits them just fine. Whatever your plans a New Year is a time for reflection, appreciation and acknowledgment to things that have happened and things that can happen.

New Year’s resolutions are the benchmark for most peoples’ idea of a new beginning. Perhaps Thanksgiving and Christmas came, went and you realize that, although delicious, you might have had too much of Mom’s stuffing this year. Immediately the first resolution to hit your list is that you definitely have to diet this year or join that gym you’ve been driving by for months.

There’s nothing wrong with resolutions but I began to wonder why it is that they seem to only last for 24 hours and then I’m sitting with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s watching Dirty Dancing. Resolutions are such a type-casted term. Perhaps year round moderation is the key and happiness will follow. It’s just a thought.

This time of year certainly signals the urge to shop for your best party attire while planning the hottest party of the year. New Year’s Eve parties rank in the top sales period for retailers and they too are celebrating. It is endearing to feel that celebration is attached to New Year’s Eve and Day, as well as an event that great friends and food are a part of; food and drinks in moderation of course.

For some a party can be had with fellow worshippers in a church-type setting. As Christmas has come and gone the overall message still resonates and instead of champagne and the recent Top 40, some prefer “Amazing Grace,” with its message and the optimistic outlook for a year to come. Both ideas are a great way to celebrate.

As I thought of my New Year’s Eve plans so many friends were trying to talk me into the newest club or restaurant with incredible wine and the best appetizers my mouth has ever tasted. I reached out to my parents to narrow down my options and I hear my father in the background saying, “Well we aren’t doing anything.  Maybe you should stay in”.

Times Square in New York City just as the ball dropped into 2014. (Photo via
Times Square in New York City just as the ball dropped into 2014.
(Photo via

The statement definitely takes me back and I grin thinking about being 15 and having my father say that to me then.  I return to the conversation with, “Dad, it is New Year’s Eve.  Why don’t you take Mom somewhere nice”.  Still in the background I can hear my Dad snickering and shuffling with a quick retort, “Nah, I think I’ll hit the hay and wake up in 2014.”

It occurred to me that generational gaps signal a change in how people celebrate. The youth of the time believe in Times Square, with millions of people and cracking open a bottle of champagne as the ball drops.  However, in contrast, some older generations think that their head hitting a pillow for the last time of 2013 and hopefully the first time of 2014 is celebration enough.

In all aspects I couldn’t agree more. New Year’s Eve and Day are the epitome of recollecting on a time gone and a new time to come. We certainly should appreciate all that we’ve experienced and all that is yet to come.  If nothing else it doesn’t hurt to think that you’ve made it to another year — older, wiser and more equipped to take 2014 by storm.  Celebrate it your way, enjoy.

Happy New Year and thank you for an amazing 2013.