This year has been the least Christmas-ey Christmas ever!
Not to mope, I just think that it’s been harder for me to feel in the Christmas spirit while my family is far away. I’m counting down the days till I’m with them for Christmas for sure!
But let’s not talk about sad stuff. I’ve been stressed and sad and frustrated and confused and tired all at the same time these days, so let’s talk about good stuff.
I’m a crazy holiday person. I love everything about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I love the traditions, the warm fuzzy feeling, being with family, THE FREAKING PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!! I love it all!
This year, the holidays have been a blur of mopey-sadness and I’ve been so passive about everything. (Damn hormones!)
But there’s one holiday that, no matter what, never fails to be fun. Even those years where it isn’t as good as the others, it still never ceases to be fun and to amaze. That holiday is called New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve is always magical, it’s always fun, it’s always not what you expected and everything you hoped it would be all rolled in one! I’ve had some pretty amazing things happen on New Year’s Eve. It’s always incredibly hopeful and slightly bittersweet at the same time. Looking back on an old year and ringing in the new one with friends, family and sparkling champagne!
I got engaged on New Year’s Eve in 2010! My husband (then boyfriend), took me to the fanciest restaurant we’d ever been to, we spent the whole night talking and laughing. He was alternately completely normal and completely nervous and it confused me. And then at the end of the night, he knelt down beside my chair and held up this beautiful ring and asked me to be his wife. My ring has champagne diamonds in it, the perfect New Year’s engagement ring, sparkling and bubbling like that celebratory beverage. We were too happy to finish the free dessert they gave us and so we went back home to the New Year’s party that our family’s always went to. I was met at the end of the driveway by my sisters in the rain; all three of us held each other tight and cried about how happy and sad we were. And then, with my fiance’s hand in mine, we were practically carried into the house by our throng of family and friends where we were met with applause and tears and hugs and laughter. It was magical and one of my favorite nights of my life!
Every year since then, my husband and I go out to dinner together and then rejoin our family and friends at the party. The kids (who are all grown up now but are still called the kid group) hang out in the basement all night playing games and laughing. At midnight we go upstairs and ring in the new year. And after we’ve cheered and finished our champagne we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to my friend whose birthday is January 1st. After that, all the kids don our coats and scarves and hats and run out into the night to a playground a few blocks away. We play on the playground until we are too tired and then we go back to the house and play more games until one by one, people drop like flies and it’s time to go home and sleep.
New Year’s Eve is the holiday made for night owls. It feels big. The weight and memories–both good and bad–of the previous year press in on you. The regrets, the triumphs, the tears and the nights that have seared into your brain all come flooding back. On the one hand that heaviness, on the other, the vastness and emptiness and newness of a brand new year. A year that hasn’t been touched, a myriad of unknown things are held in the new year. Who knows what will happen? It’s an adventure!
New Year’s Eve is magical and it feels fancy, even if you’re celebrating in your blue jeans!
So think of me this December 31st as you drink champagne at midnight! Whether it’s out of a fancy champagne flute as you’re dressed to the nines or in a plastic cup in the basement of your best friend’s house! Think of me, I’ll be thinking of you and we’ll face the new year together.