New Year’s Eve: parties, dancing, champagne, noisemakers, kisses at the stroke of midnight, excitement, and celebrations.
Looking back on Auld Lang Syne, I can’t remember many spectacular and exciting New Year’s Eve celebrations. And no, that’s not for the reason you might think. I’ve never been the type to party so heartily as to be uncertain the next morning whether or not I had a good time.
Instead, my inability to remember exciting celebrations is because I haven’t participated in many exciting celebrations. Being more of a lark than a night owl, I’ve never found it easy to stay awake long enough to party into the wee hours. Dancing? Absolutely. Dancing till dawn? Not so much.
Oh, there are a few New Year’s parties I remember. The year my then-husband and I shuttled between two dances 15 miles apart in two different small towns. The New Year’s kiss from the guy at the North Star Saloon, whose name I have forgotten but whose surprisingly soft mustache I still remember. The at-home party where several friends and a couple of guitar players spent most of the evening piecing together the words to the Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler.”
Then there was the year the kids decided it was essential to bring in the New Year in proper fashion. To them—or at least to the 13-year-old party planner extraordinaire who was the leader of the project—this meant confetti. We said okay, as long as they promised to clean up the mess. Armed with scissors and paper punches, they spent days and days deconstructing a ream or more of construction paper. By New Year’s Eve the younger ones were complaining of sore fingers and starting to rebel, but they had a trash bag full of confetti.
When midnight came, they blew noisemakers, shouted “Happy New Year!”, and threw their confetti all over each other and the downstairs family room. It probably took them 45 seconds. The next morning they spent at least an hour vacuuming up the colorful bits of paper. Oddly enough, they never felt the same need for confetti at future celebrations.
This New Year’s Eve, we were in a town famous throughout southern New Mexico for its annual street celebration, complete with well-known bands, food, and fireworks. The party was only a few blocks away. We could easily have walked there and back. But after a poor night’s sleep the previous night and a five-mile hike earlier in the day, we were tired.
I went to bed at 8:30. The New Year, as far as I can tell, managed to show up perfectly well without me.
Whether you partied or not, stayed up late or not, or had to clean up your own confetti, I hope your New Year’s Eve was a happy one. Even more, I hope 2009 proves to be a year filled with joy, serenity, and many blessings.
Happy New Year to all—and to all a good night's sleep.