Why do we celebrate New Year’s Eve? I’ve celebrated my fair share over the years. Sometimes, it was a party at someone’s house, other times, people would come to ours, and sometimes, it would just be my family and me. Some of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories are ones that involve people. About 1,000 years ago (roughly estimating, here), I had a boyfriend, and I spent two New Year’s Eve with him and his family…and a bunch of other people. His family always threw a huge party, and I was more than happy to attend those. There was great food, great people, lots of laughs, and fireworks!
Then, there are some years where we’re sitting around, asking each other, “What are we doing for New Years?” Honestly, I do not care sometimes. I’m happy to stay home and watch a movie with my family, or even by myself. I don’t hold a lot of expectations when it comes to New Year’s Eve jubilees.
But, there is a reason for that…
One year, New Year’s Eve 1999, I was super excited. We were ringing in the year 2000 and friends from our church were coming over to celebrate with us. My mom told me I could be in her and dad’s room the entire night and watch TV with the kids my age. It was the one time that Disney channel was shown on our cable network, and it was my favorite thing. They always had a night lined up of movies, shows, and general “goofy”-ness (ha, see what I did there?!) to enjoy. I had the entire night planned out. My nail polish collection was displayed beautifully so my friend and me could give each other manicures while watching Disney channel, and then run downstairs in time to countdown with our family. Excited does not even begin to describe how I was feeling.
The clock struck 8pm and our guests began arriving. There was food and cream soda galore, and I was running around along with my little brother. When my friend got there, I expected her to go right upstairs with me and begin our night of fun. That was not the case, however. I told my friend all about our own private celebration, and I think she said something along the lines of, “Maybe later.”
“Okay!” said my ten-year-old mouth. Ouch, felt my ten-year-old heart.
As the evening went on, I spent most of it in my parents’ bedroom, alone, painting my own fingernails and watching TV. My friend never came upstairs and spent the entire evening glued to her mother’s hip. To this day, it is the most devastating NYE I’ve ever experienced. Well, devastating to a 10-year-old girl.
The next day, I told my mom, “[My friend] didn’t spend any time with me. Does she not like me?” My mom, being who she is, reassured me that, no, that’s not the case – she does like me. There had to be another reason.
To this day, I’m still not clear on that reason. Either way, it doesn’t matter. That was 16 years ago, almost. Time I got over it.
That experience got me thinking, though – Why do we celebrate New Year’s Eve? It shouldn’t be considered a holiday, in my opinion. There’s no significance – not like Christmas or Thanksgiving. So a year is ending and another one is beginning… and we have to make it a big deal? Why?
I sound bitter, don’t I? I’m not meaning to be, and I don’t want to squash people’s feelings. I know some people love this holiday, and you know what, that’s great! There are so few reasons to be happy any more, and if celebrating New Year’s makes you happy, than celebrate! I’d rather you feel happy, even if it’s for a little while, than have no joy at all this holiday season.
All that being said, I do wish you all the happiest of New Years. I plan on watching some football with my parents this evening, and then reading in bed for the rest of it. I’m not planning on staying up to countdown, as I plan on being at work very early in the morning. (The hospitality industry is no joke, and I can’t leave my amazing co-workers hanging!)
Anyway, happy New Years, and may 2016 find you blessed.