I’m a total New Year’s Eve failure. I’ll admit it. There are a few things I’m truly good at–muffin baking, library browsing, three-minute-showering–but celebrating New Year’s Eve is not one of them.
Perhaps it stems from growing up in the middle of the northern Wisconsin forest where the bulk of our family merriment burned off by December 31st. We’d already opened presents, gone sledding, frosted cookies, played ice hockey, and watched all the movies.
The town’s restaurants and businesses all closed well before midnight so there was nowhere to go. We’d usually light a sparkler or two on the snowy porch and then hit the hay by 9:00pm.
We were big fans of the phrase, “Well, it’s midnight somewhere.”
Now that I have kids of my own, the idea of purposefully staying up until 12am to ring in the new year is borderline laughable. Why would I force myself awake when the baby will do that for me at 1am and 3am and perhaps again at 5am for good measure?
Call me Scrooge, but a prerecorded glittering ball drop from the sky with Dick Clark or Ryan Seacrest or whoever is making awkward small talk at the camera for an hour while wearing a festive hat is so not worth a couple additional hours of sleep.
As a pastor I pour myself into Advent and Lent, Christmas and Easter, and lesser known church holy days like Ash Wednesday, Epiphany, and Trinity Sunday, leaving me little in the festivities tank for New Year’s.
(Honestly my husband and I don’t even really celebrate Valentine’s Day, unless you count the box of See’s chocolates I buy for myself, but as Daryl readily points out, I do that once a month even when it isn’t February. Guilty as charged.)
Raise your hand if you, like me, are bad at New Year’s Eve.
Good news, friends. You aren’t alone. And do you know what? After all the merry-making and present wrapping and kid wrangling and church going and cookie eating of the previous seven days, you absolutely have my permission to sit this one out.
Put on your fuzziest pajamas, make yourself a mug of something hot, curl around a good book or a blazing fire or a fluffy pet or a snuggly family member for a few moments and then crawl in bed at 8:00pm. Repeat after me:
It is midnight somewhere.
Happy New Year!