I think I may have told this story before, but back in high school, I went to an epic New Year’s Eve party.
It was at a girl’s house who was a year older than me. I was a junior, and she was a senior.
I don’t know where her parents were, but they were definitely NOT at home.
And I don’t know how many kids were at her house, but in my memory, it was pretty much the whole school.
It was like that party at Jake Ryan’s house in Sixteen Candles.
Or the party at Wyatt and Chet’s house in Weird Science.
It was huge and it was awesome, and I spent the rest of my teens and my twenties trying to recreate that night.
I never did.
No New Year’s Eve ever lived up to that night.
But now the thought of going out all night to a party on New Year’s Eve is about as appealing as a colonoscopy.
I have zero desire to go anywhere.
And call me a party pooper, but I will not even be doing anything particularly special on New Year’s Eve this year.
And neither will my kids.
I can’t really think of anything worse for my kids than staying up until midnight.
Even just for one day.
When my kids are tired, they are terrible.
And being tired almost always leads to someone getting sick.
And when someone gets sick, then inevitably everyone else gets sick.
Am I totally lame for not allowing my kids to stay up all night so they can countdown to the new year?
I don’t think so.
But even if I am, I don’t care.
I know this has something to do with me giving up drinking a year and a half ago.
New Year’s Eve parties are much different when everyone but you is drinking.
I had that experience last year.
I went to a party with my husband and the kids.
It was a grown ups and kids party.
It was fun for a little while.
But then once nine p.m. rolled around, I was ready to go home.
And so were most of the kids.
And so you know what I did?
I rounded everyone up, and we left.
We were home by 10:00.
Most of the people at the party looked at my like I was a lunatic.
Or a loser.
But I don’t feel the need to stay up and party on New Year’s Eve.
I don’t feel like I’m depriving my kids of anything.
And I know I’m not depriving them of a decent night’s sleep.
If that’s your thing, more power to you.
But it’s just not my thing.
And you know what?
I’ve kind of changed what I feel is most important to celebrate at the end of 2018.
I don’t want to celebrate the end of anything, actually.
I want to celebrate the beginning.
The beginning of a new year.
I want to start off 2019 feeling rested and strong and at the top of my game.
I want to enjoy my day.
I want to get as much out of it as I can.
I want to be present for my kids.
I want to be off and running on January 1st.
Not exhausted and already feeling behind.
I want my kids’ last day of vacation to be a good one.
Not a day where they are all overtired and crabby and super emotional.
They are already bummed enough about going back to school as it is.
So I am planning to have a nice early family dinner. Maybe we’ll go to the movies again like we did on Christmas Eve.
Or maybe now that the kids are all old enough, we’ll play some board games.
I also have a big jigsaw puzzle we haven’t opened yet.
Maybe we’ll open that up and work on that.
Whatever we do, we are going to spend a nice quiet night together as a family on the final day of 2018.
Nobody will stay up until midnight.
I do have plans for next year’s New Year’s Eve.
Next year, I will be on the beach with my family on December 31st.
And not a rocky, freezing cold, CT beach.
Next year I will take my family on a vacation the day after Christmas.
On December 26th, we will go somewhere warm and tropical.
We will spend the last day of 2019 on a white, sandy beach.
We will ring in the new year in paradise.
That will be our new, New Year’s Eve tradition.
I don’t know exactly where we are going to go, or how I’m going to do it, but it’s been put out into the Universe.
And it’s totally gonna happen.