December 30, 2010

The Evolution of New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve...the times how they change.

Even as a kid, my parents always had something fun for us to do on New Year's Eve. We always made nachos- chips spread across a cookie sheet, tons of cheese on top and all melty and gooey from the oven. I struggled with droopy eyes to stay up and watch the ball drop. I usually failed and was carried up to bed in all my exhausted glory. As we got older, my parents would either drag us to the neighbor's party or, much to their detriment, leave us kids alone while they went to the party. Most of the time we just ate way too many sweets and they had to deal with a neverending sugar high when they got home. I also discovered as a teen that babysitting on New Year's Eve was very lucrative. People were desperate for babysitters. Once after my sister got her driver's license, we took a ski trip to Wild Mountain on New Year's Eve- it was SO MUCH FUN. I distinctly remember jamming out to Milli Vanilli on the drive.

Once I got to college, things REALLY changed. I had a couple friends who would throw a huge (black tie optional) hotel party complete with renting out the ballroom, DJ, drinks, food... it was a $30 cover (plus the cost of the hotel room to crash in after) and it was the best of times. Me and my friends attended this party for several years and it always seemed that it got more fun year after year. We would always spend the afternoon shopping the sales looking for the perfect cocktail dress/gown to wear and then spend hours drinking and getting ready to get our dance on. Some of my best New Year's Eve memories were of these parties.

Post college started to get tricky. Serious boyfriends came into the picture and we were now having to find ways to divide our time between the two. We decided that we still get dolled up and go somewhere swanky to have drinks for a few hours before going back to our significant others. This went well for quite a few years. Here are a few photos of past New Year's celebrations:





Despite our girlfriend pact to always spend time together on New Year's Eve in some way, this changed too. Work obligations for some but for me: a child. It is no offense to my friends but I prefer to stay home now on New Year's Eve with my family. Jack will still go to bed at his normal time (and probably will until he's quite a bit older) but it has become a night for me and my husband to spend some REAL quality time together. No retreats to our separate parts of the house. We buy naughty food to fry up in the Fry Daddy, drink more than our fair share and play either on the Wii or find a board game to play. It might sound super lame to some people, but this has now become a tradition that I truly look forward to. However, in the spirit of the old days before kids and marriage broke down our former pact, I will get to do a little shopping with the ladies tomorrow but in a much different way: we are going bridal gown shopping for one of my dearest friends. We'll share a cocktail and a slice of pizza over lunch but most importantly, we'll get to share some time helping our friend get ready for her big day.

What a perfect way to ring in the New Year.

What traditions do you have for celebrating the New Year?




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