The transition from 2007-2008 is one that will go down in infamy. I'm moderately surprised by this; New Years is traditionally one of the most lackluster holidays. Even holidays that offer zero vacation time (like Halloween) easily trump New Years. In general, I wonder if instead of comparing New Years to Christmas or Thanksgiving, we should compare it to something like Arbor Day to keep our expectations more realistic. At least then you'd be able to say, "Yeah, that was a great New Years -- almost as good as the Flag Day of '99."
But, let's face it, the best New Years you ever celebrated wasn't that much better than the worst New Years you've celebrated. When you're young, you were so excited to stay up late and eat junk food that you tired yourself out well before the ball dropped. And when you get old, you're so tired that you celebrate New Years in EST even though you live in MST. And of course, let us not forget that News Years is second only to birthdays in marking the relentless march of time, just without the presents.
So, how do you celebrate a day such as this? Do you go to a dance? Ick. To a party? How passé. If you do go to these places, you'll inevitable find that one third of the people there are hooked up and anticipating that triumphant New Years kiss; the other third are looking for someone (anyone) for that New Years kiss; and the other third don't know why they are there (in the case of a Mormon party), or just realized that they were only invited to be designated drivers.
That's why I celebrate with the family every year. They've never let me down. Dad slices up the Pepperidge farm beef stick from his stocking, mom makes a veggie tray with enough olives to cover our fingertips, and the sparkling cider flows freely, while we bicker our way through the dice game, Settler's of Catan, Uno, and Scrabble.
This year, however, was a little different. I arrived home the day before New Year's Eve to find the family in various stages of illness. A virulent stomach flu was ravaging the clan. Yet, we soldiered on with our dry toast, green jello, and gallons of sprite, and ended up having a good time in spite of ourselves.
And all was well until the evening of the first day of 2008, when I, the healthy one, was attacked by 2007 while driving home from the holiday. It was terrorism in it's worse form: sudden, unexpected, and demoralizing. It was then, at 85 MPH, on that frigid and clear winter night, somewhere near the Idaho/Utah border, that my sister ralphed ALL OVER the passenger side of my car.
Happy New Year! (to be continued...)