December 31st, 2016

New Year’s Eve: what are you doing?

[NOTE: This is a slightly-edited version of a previous post.]

I have a confession to make: I’m not extraordinarily fond of New Years Eve.

Oh, back when I was a very little kid I remember liking it very much indeed. It was an opportunity to beg my parents to be allowed to stay up, and often I won that battle and had the thrill of watching the ball drop on TV.

Back then each year had seemed almost endless, and the punctuation of that last day, with its celebrations and dramatic turning of the number of the year into one we’d never seen before (wow! 1959! next, 1960!) was exciting and fresh. It also meant I was growing up, gaining in privilege and stature.

In high school it was still sort of fun—we went out in big packs, once or twice to Times Square to watch the whole thing in person. In college it became more problematic because I went home for Christmas vacation and was away from the boy friend de jour.

Then later on I was married. What do married people do on New Years? Parties still happened, but they were starting to end earlier and earlier (New Englanders don’t tend to be nightowls or wild partygoers, I’m afraid). For me they functioned mostly as an excuse for getting dressed up. It doesn’t help that I don’t drink much. Watching others get drunk has been an interesting spectator sport over the years, but not really my favorite activity.

As for that “growing in privilege and stature” thing—well, I’m kind of on the other side of that particular slope. Gaining in wisdom, perhaps; at least, that’s a consummation devoutly to be wished. And the passage of time seems to have accelerated at an alarming rate.

This year? Nada. Maybe visiting a friend to watch TV and have a sip of champagne. Maybe not.

And then on New Years Day: resolutions galore! Will they last more than a day this time? And the fervent hope that 2017 will be a much better one than 2016 was for this country, and the entire world.

So folks—what are you doing New Years Eve?

23 Responses to “New Year’s Eve: what are you doing?”

  1. Liz Says:

    Happy New Year to everyone!

    While there are parties & events I could go to this evening, I’ll stay home, open the champagne early in the evening, fix a nice dinner, read a book, quilt a little, call some friends who are doing the same limited activities. It’s too much of a hassle to be out and then dodge the crazies driving home. At some time during the evening, I’ll think about my guidelines for the coming year.

    Now tomorrow, I’ll be out at my sailing club where we’ll have some drinks, black-eyed peas and cornbread. It’s a fun party since everyone is ready to be outside with the last of the nice weather. Unfortunately, the lake level is down so only a few hardy centerboard sailors will be out.

  2. parker Says:

    Dinner with 4 of our neighbors, then cards. A happy and prosperous new yeard to everyone.

  3. Alan F Says:

    Right now, I am leaving to do a mountain bike ride on Fort Ord, which is six miles from the the Pacific Ocean and 30 miles from Big Sur. I always enjoy anything I do on Calif’s Central Coast and do not take it for granted. After that, I will be tired and content enough to enjoy a solitary dinner, while catching up on Fox News’ Wall Street Journal Editorial Report and college football.

  4. NeoConScum Says:

    Us (former) “serious drinkers” called New Year’s Eve, Amateur Night. And a feller could get killed out there!!

    Bet, enough about my life 30+years ago. ((–:

    Happy, Healthy, Blessed New Year, Neo & All..!!

  5. Paul in Boston Says:

    In memory of Carrie Fischer’s passing, my wife and I watched “When Harry Met Sally” the other night. It has a very nice closing on New Year’s Eve.

    Happy New Year to all.

  6. CV Says:

    Enjoyed the Lawrence Welk show clip! Reminds me of watching that show with an elderly aunt who adored it.

    Here’s Mark Steyn with some interesting background on the “What are you doing New Year’s” song. Apparently the songwriter insisted that it wasn’t a seasonal, holiday song at all:

    And here’s a particularly beautiful rendition of Auld Lang Syne by Scottish singer Maori Campbell of The Cast:

    Happy New Year everyone!

  7. Esther Says:

    Going out doesn’t feel appealing to us this year. So, we’ve opened a really old bottle of Bordeaux, it’s supposedly breathing on the counter right now.

    The DH has gone out to find steak and Roquefort for dinner to pair with the wine. Then the big plan is to curl up in front of a cheerful fire with the canine companion and the tv……Like my parents! Oh no!

    Every year on New Year’s Eve my folks would hunker down in the livingroom in the dark, smoking Camels under a heap of quilts on the sofa, the blue light of the tv on their faces, a bottle of Cold Duck waiting in the fridge to ‘celebrate’ ..

  8. J.J Says:

    From this remove it is hard to remember that during my Navy years (1955-1968) New Year’s always involved a big party with copious amounts of alcohol consumed. We were young, we were in a dangerous profession (carrier aviation), and we wanted to live hard and enjoy every living moment for tomorrow we might die. Alcohol fueled us by night and av gas fueled us by day.

    During my years flying for an airline I was seldom home on holidays (The result of being junior for most of my career). So, New Year’s was seldom observed at home or with any sort of celebration. When I did happen to be home it was usually a quiet affair with neighbors.

    Tonight we’ll follow the routine that we’ve had for the last nine years. We’ll watch football (The two semi-final college games), we’ll have a crab dinner with artichokes and fruit salad with pecan pie for dessert. We’ll read and occasionally watch the TV celebrations as they work their way across the country. About 11:45 I will open a bottle of champagne and we’ll watch the midnight fireworks from the Space Needle (Always an impressive show) on TV. Then off to bed. Very, very boring.

    My New Year’s resolution is to keep on standing upright, keep on breathing, and try to learn something new whenever I can. Also very boring. As I’ve aged, my resolutions have become less ambitious. 🙁

    Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, prosperous New year.

  9. expat Says:

    I just got home from an evening with friends. We all ate a lot and drank a little. There was nice classical music at midnight, and ten it was time to come home for a cup of warm tea.

    I hope the New Year is great for all of us.

  10. chuck Says:

    Sitting in front of my computer, preparing to release numpy-1.12.0rc2 (an open source package for the python computer language) tomorrow. There have been a few fireworks already (8 PM), but it is cold out and the traffic is light. In an hour or two I will guit, shower, read for a bit, and go to bed. It is an exciting life at the Harris manor 😉

  11. Philip Says:

    Hooray for Bordeaux and steak!

    I’ve got out a CVNE Rioja Gran Reserva (started in on it last night, actually). Some Irish cheese, some baked cod, and maybe some olives later, taking in the comments on this blog, checking up on my online chess games, texting my dearest friend. That’s my night.

  12. brdavis9 Says:

    Currently surfing, catching up on favored blog, and checking in with distant family & friends on FB.

    Noshing on butter crackers, pita chips, cheese (some lovely stuff there) & some slightly decadent large green olives.

    Drinking heated pear sake …will switch to champagne shortly (still chilling).

    Movie in a bit: Warcraft (genre: gamer fantasy) via Redbox.

    And maybe back to sake later? (Not to the point of getting into my cups tho’ …that lost its allure long ago lol.)

    …and to one and all, may 2017 find you happy, healthy, and prosperous.

  13. The Other Chuck Says:

    A rare and wonderful evening with friends here in my little berg of a not really town in the California foothills. We caught up on the past year, compared notes on our lives, talked a little politics, and laughed while we shared memories and hope for the future. Our host had a large bonfire going to ward off the 40 F. cold. The kids and grandkids up from The City and environs had fun at midnight shooting guns with magazines that became illegal as the bullets flew. This is the other California, the red counties that vote 60, 70, and even 80% Republican.

    The patio buffet table was stocked with prosciutto wrapped delights, numerous dips, chili, warm sour dough, and desserts. The evening ended with handshakes, hugs, kisses and goodwill.

    Best to you all, and especially Neo, with genuine hope for a better New Year.

  14. Cornhead Says:

    After the fact, my Creighton Bluejays played #1 Villanova before 18,000 plus in Omaha. The game was at noon. We lost by 10 but the game was back and forth. We ended up at the Millard American Legion. Unusual.

  15. Uffdaphil Says:

    I meant to turn on the tv just before midnight to watch Kathy Griffen embarrass anyone within reach, bit was distracted by a good book abetted by a decent Pinot Noir.

  16. Tim P Says:

    My wife, daughter, and myself.
    Dinner, then various games.
    Of course my wife and I were also drinking champagne.
    No politics, current events, or news.
    May 2017 be a better year than 2016.

  17. GRA Says:

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who isn’t fond towards the New Years. I understand why people celebrate it but to the extent they do, and the hype surrounding the day – strange. Then again I’m rather young so I’m the strange one given my attitude about it. Yesterday was just another Sunday despite half the town being closed down.

    I wanted to borrow some item from the library on Saturday but it was closed in NY observance, both Saturday and Monday, which slightly annoyed me.

    It’s probably the mostly secular nature of the celebration of New Years where I find it appealing but ultimately shallow and fleeting. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my parties and booz. But New Years just comes off skeevy.

  18. NeoConScum Says:

    The “Little BIG Boss” (All glorious 95lbs and 4’11” of Sparkling Sicilian 4th of July Firecracker of her!!) are celebrating our 22nd anniversary today. Jan. 2nd was my parents knot-tie date (1942)

  19. NeoConScum Says:

    (Oops..Danged Android Gizmo!!!)…and Dad was still with us. We picked the date as a good omen nod to their long, loving, happy marriage. “Best Decision you ever made, Old Man!!”, said Pop as he hugged Nena on the last night we were with him in early April 1996. A wonderful memory for us both.

    I’m One Very Lucky Amigo. My Girl is Beyond Amazing.

  20. neo-neocon Says:


    Congratulations to you and your wife, and best wishes for many more years of wedded happiness!

  21. neo-neocon Says:


    Well, I guess people need two days to detox from the partying.

    Although actually, I think it’s usually one day (Jan 1). This year it’s two days because Jan. 1 fell on a Sunday. Can’t imagine why that matters, but it seems to.

  22. Brooklyn Boy Says:

    I always think if you live in a city like NYC it is nice to go out to dinner with friends and then go to someone’s apartment or to a local bar (without too many young 20’s in it) to watch the ball drop and then go home. I mean once the ball drops it is anti climatic so why linger much past midnight anyway? A couple of New Year’s Eve’s I do recall going to movies (1973 seeing “American Graffiti” and 1984 “Beverly Hill Cop”) with a friend. Whenever New Years Eve and New Years Day as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day falls out on a weekend it feels less of a holiday and more of just a weekend.

  23. NeoConScum Says:

    Thanks Hugely for the sweet ‘nod, Neo!!

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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