Is New Year’s Eve the Worst Holiday?

 

As a kid, New Year’s Eve fascinated me. It was a night when grown-ups dressed up, drank fancy cocktails and danced across ballroom floors. Granted, my parents only went out a time or two, but I had seen the movies. Most adults had the times of their lives and I couldn’t wait to join them.

Once I hit drinking age, I spent several New Year’s Eves at college bars or block parties trying to join the excitement. I rarely found any. Most the celebrations were overcrowded nightmares of sweaty throngs and queasy drinkers. Hardly the tuxedo-clad soirees I had imagined as a lad.

Eventually I figured out why I didn’t care for New Year’s celebrations: They are filled with people who say “WOOO!” I don’t like being in places where people say “WOOO!” The revelers aren’t actually having fun, but trying to convince everyone around them that they’re having fun.

Like a weekend in Las Vegas, most NYE revelers are trying to force themselves to have a good time and failing. And what are we even celebrating? An arbitrary hour on an arbitrary calendar first accepted in the U.S. in 1752. There aren’t even any presents.

Tonight I’ll enjoy another quiet evening in, playing board games with the family and watching queasy drinkers shout “WOOO!” on the TV. I’m confident that many readers will roll their eyes at grumpy introverts like me and enjoy far more exciting celebrations. What do you think: Is New Year’s Eve overrated or do you have an evening planned that will change my mind?

New Year’s image via Shutterstock.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ProbableCause

    Amen.  I’ve always thought the holiday has about as much meaning as the old family truckster logging another 100,000 miles.

    Actually, that’s being generous…

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Hammurabi

    “WOOOO!” to this post! Well, said.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @BobThompson

    Is it a holiday?

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BarbaraKidder

    Yes!

    It falls somewhere between running a marathon when you are totally out of shape and celebrating the birthday of and with your former employer!

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @1967mustangman
    Barbara Kidder: Yes!

    It falls somewhere between running a marathon when you are totally out of shape and celebrating the birthday of and with your former employer! · 0 minutes ago

    HAH! I love it, however I think Halloween is worse.  

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn

    It’s a little different in my neck of the woods. The res started selling fireworks a week ago, so I spend the night praying the dogs don’t get out and my house doesn’t burn down.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest
    Scarlet Pimpernel: Some fascinating history of the day here.  Here’s the start….

    The Romans had their share of great holidays. Valentine’s Day? Lame compared to Lupercalia.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ProbableCause
    Scarlet Pimpernel:

    In 46 or 45 BCE, the Roman emperor Julius Caesar established January 1 as New Year’s Day…

    You did not just use “BCE” in a sentence…

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @JohnHanson

    My wife and I prefer to have one or two other couples over and play cards, game depending on attendees preferences, and just talk and enjoy company.   We almost never go out on New Years, we both discovered many years ago, we just didn’t enjoy large commercial parties and spending a lot of money we did not have to.   Once every 5 years or so, we might take a New Years Bus tour to a casino, but even there, too crowded, too pointless, mostly as reported above, a lot of people trying to “have fun” and not succeeding too well.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @DrewInWisconsin

    While I’m certain I’ll be “celebrating” like Jon, I don’t particularly mind having a day off with no commitments. All other holidays seem to require me to jump from work commitment to family/travel commitment and back again with barely any breathing space. New Year’s Day gives me a chance to catch my breath with no commitments whatsoever.

    And given that it’s -15 degrees Fahrenheit, catching my breath is harder than usual.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @6foot2inhighheels

    I wish more gentlemen would rediscover the manly art of formal ballroom dancing.  A man who leads well in dance is never short a partner.  Tonight, I will don my fancy duds to sashay about the floor with my husband and friends, most in tuxes and gowns.  We will enjoy great conversation, a lovely pot luck banquet, and some modest drinking, but no “Whoo!”

    There is a whole culture behind small clubs like this, and members have rediscovered a genteel, elegant form of celebration that is well worth the effort.  Sort of like Ricochet with dancing shoes.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @
    6foot2inhighheels: 

    There is a whole culture behind small clubs like this, and members have rediscovered a genteel, elegant form of celebration that is well worth the effort.  Sort of like Ricochet with dancing shoes. · 5 minutes ago

    Now that is a New Year’s Eve party I would attend.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Member
    @6foot2inhighheels
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    6foot2inhighheels: 

    There is a whole culture behind small clubs like this, and members have rediscovered a genteel, elegant form of celebration that is well worth the effort.  Sort of like Ricochet with dancing shoes. · 5 minutes ago

    Now that is a New Year’s Eve party I would attend. · 3 minutes ago

    We’ll leave the door unlocked :)

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    There is a papal plenary indulgence available for chanting the Te Deum in public at a church or oratory at the end of the year.

    A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who recite the Te Deum in thanksgiving. But a plenary indulgence is granted, if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @KayLudlow

    Just this morning I was thinking about how refreshing it is to have a holiday which has no religious or political connotations and therefore can be celebrated without risk of offense to anyone. Finally, I can wish my co-workers “Happy New Year!” without worry that they might not celebrate the New Year, or worse, celebrate an alternate New Year*, thus exposing myself as the insensitive jerk that I am.

    All snark aside, I don’t mind New Year’s Eve. It’s never as fun nor as glamorous as I hope, but it’s a good excuse to spend an evening with friends and family and that’s good enough for me.

    *Fingers crossed that there aren’t any Mayans in my office…

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LookAway

    Old habits die hard: In bed by 9:00pm and greet the New Year at 5:00am.

    • #16
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    @ScarletPimpernel
    Probable Cause

    Scarlet Pimpernel:

    In 46 or 45 BCE, the Roman emperor Julius Caesar established January 1 as New Year’s Day…

    You did notjust use “BCE” in a sentence… · 44 minutes ago

    No. I was quoting. I have added quotes to make that clear.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Member
    @Kephalithos
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Eventually I figured out why I didn’t care for New Year’s celebrations: They are filled with people who say “WOOO!” I don’t like being in places where people say “WOOO!”

    Congratulations! You’ve distilled one of introversion’s tenets into a statement at once witty and blunt.

    As I like to say, avoid public displays of enthusiasm.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TommyDeSeno

    Jon you would enjoy being in a gambling Casino on New Years Eve.  Midnight comes and goes and no one pays it any mind. 

    I must confess though I’m going out tonight (amateur’s night out, as Peter Fumo pointed out).

    My wife and I have 4 teenagers.  Since the first was born, we have spent every NYE with them.  Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve, a little soda in a champagne glass at midnight and off to bed.

    This year we got invited to a friend’s party.  Friends who regularly hang out with other friends, none of whom, coincidently, have kids.  They party a lot.  We never get to go.  So tonight we are going.

    I will WOOO!   I will YEE HAW!   I will sing! And I will crow!

    I will be home by 12:30.   There’s 4 teenagers in the house alone for goodness sakes!

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Kephalithos

    As I like to say, avoid public displays of enthusiasm. · 16 minutes ago

    I’m cross-stitching this motto on a throw pillow.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Member
    @KayLudlow

    Shucks! Turns out that New Year’s Day really does have religious connotations after all.  Thanks, Scarlet Pimpernel. I guess it’s time to go apologize to all of my co-workers for my insensitivity.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @dittoheadadt

    What always struck me was that, come 12:10am, it’s like, “ok, now what?”

    I might stay up ’til midnight just for the novelty of something that only happens maybe once a year, and then I’d see the throngs on tv shortly after the ball dropped, usually someplace cold, and think “poor schleps.”

    However, I do love the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @RushBabe49

    We in the aerospace industry have the week between Christmas and New Years off work.  Ray and I basically use that week to catch up on our sleep. We are staying home tonight and watching movies, and having the remains of our Christmas prime rib roast for dinner.

    Happy New Year to our Ricochet friends.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Moderator
    @AmySchley

    For a while, New Year’s Eve was my big chance to go visit my real world friends (as opposed to my World of Warcraft friends).  Now that I see them every week for game night, it’s not quite as special, but tonight is my first *ever* toga party.

    And I’m wearing a stola instead to cement my status as the biggest geek.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Member
    @WyleeCoyote
    Peter Fumo: My father used to call it amateur’s night. I actually use the holiday to reflect back on the past year, what I’ve accomplished, major events, etc. I don’t however celebrate the way most people do.

    Your father is a wise man.  Since I started working the bar district, I’ve come to despise all alcohol-themed holidays.  Halloween is the worst, New Years’ a close second (though it peaks earlier, which is nice), and St. Patrick’s Day is climbing the charts.

    On the plus side, I’m spared the pressure of going out, making plans, or hoping for invitations.  The City always has plenty of things for me to do.  :)

    Happy New Years’ to all at Ricochet, and be careful out there!

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Member
    @DuncanWinn

    Every time I’ve gone out and celebrated it, I’ve had fun.  I love kissing my wife for the first time in a new year.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko

    NYE is an odd holiday.  Christmas songs are festive and joyful, but the handful of songs about New Year’s tend towards melancholy.  There’s Prince’s 1999, often played as a party anthem that actually turns out to be about nuclear Armageddon.  ABBA recorded a song called Happy New Year that’s about waking up the next morning after the party’s over.

    But I think the song that best evokes the spirit of NYE is this one by Nat King Cole.

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ScarletPimpernel
    Kay Ludlow: Shucks! Turns out that New Year’s Day really does have religious connotations after all.  Thanks, Scarlet Pimpernel. I guess it’s time to go apologize to all of my co-workers for my insensitivity. · 1 hour ago

    Happy Kwanza!

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    dittoheadadt: 

    However, I dolove the weekbetween Christmas and New Year’s. · 1 hour ago

    Yes, that’s the primary redeeming quality of New Year’s in my book.

    I’m a firm believer that Christmas should be celebrated for 12 days, concluding with the feast of Epiphany on Jan 6th.  Nowadays people tend to take down the lights and decorations and throw out the tree on Jan 1st, but at least we still have a full week of Christmas.  If it weren’t for New Year’s I suppose most people would take everything down on Boxing Day.

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    Kay Ludlow: Finally, I can wish my co-workers “Happy New Year!” without worry that they might not celebrate the New Year, or worse, celebrate an alternate New Year*, thus exposing myself as the insensitive jerk that I am.

    Don’t forget those who celebrate Chinese New Year, or Jews who wish each other “Happy New Year” at Rosh Hashanah.

    Never underestimate the reach of political correctness.  It sounds to me like your New Year’s resolutions should include some sensitivity training!

    :-p

    • #30

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