Today is New Year’s Eve. Some people really celebrate the arrival of the new year. They party either at friends’ houses or maybe they go to a hotel for a fancy dinner and a dance. Others attend alcohol-free First Night events which are certainly more family friendly.
And then there are curmudgeons like me who go to bed early and sleep through the whole event, regarding it as a non-event. I’ve never understood the reason for marking the change of calendar. Want to enlighten me about why I should be more excited about this?
When I was younger, the church had Watch Night Service which lasted until after midnight on New Year’s Eve . Preferred activity at that hour was to pray the new year in. My family usually attended this. For the last several years I’ve skipped it. That decision was reached after I barely avoided being involved in three accidents with drinking drivers — all on the same night — on my way home from church.
Last year the pastor announced the service would end before midnight so I went and did enjoy it. This year the “year-end service” was moved to December 30. I’m not sure why that decision was made. It started 30 minutes earlier than a normal service and lasted about two hours. It included a video year-in-review presentation and closed with a communion service. The attendance was better than I expected given the weather forecast for snow and rain. It was raining/snowing but the temperature was still above freezing so driving wasn’t a problem.
I was out doing a couple of errands yesterday and was surprised to be wished “Have a safe New Year.” Is this the new trend in holiday wishes instead of my traditional “Happy New Year?” Is the wish for a safe New Year caused by the number of people who drink to excess and then drive? Is it a reflection on possible weather problems?
How do you celebrate the New Year? Do you shoot off fireworks like my neighbors? Do you attend a party? What do you do on New Year’s Day?
I’ll be taking down the Christmas decorations and packing them away until December, 2010.