Nothing wrong with the same old New Years

Fancy dresses, expensive meals, and confetti. Lots of confetti. These are common images one conjures up when thinking of celebrating the New Year. Even though these scenes are all over the television stations when the ten-second countdown begins, how many people actually go to extravagant balls to see the old year out and the new one in?

For every one of my years thus far, I haven’t gone to any New Years parties over twenty people. And, not coincidentally, I know most everyone there and the festivities are held at one of my friend’s places. We traditionally squeeze around a coffee table and play either board games or video games. A little before midnight, we all have some kind of toast and then continue on partying.

Do I wish that I was at some kind of elaborate ball? Sometimes I do, but then I remember all of the other big parties I’ve been to. I don’t like them. If I arrive with several people and they all flitter off to talk to others, I’m usually left talking to the sofa, wishing for some zombies to kill in my latest video game. I enjoy small groups. I like talking with my best friends and catching up on their lives. Big parties are not the best venue to accomplish this goal; they’re usually breeding grounds for social awkwardness.

This year I went into Chicago to spend the evening with some of my best friends at one of their apartments. After going out to eat, we came back and played the board game Cranium for most of the evening. Our countdown to midnight consisted of tuning into the local radio station and listening. I’d like to say that this was because we didn’t need to watch the fun-loving socialites at Times Square or Navy Pier, but in actuality it was because the apartment didn’t have a working television. But we didn’t feel like we were missing anything just the same.

My group toasted to 2008 with champagne classes that had “2004,” the year of our high school graduation, written all over them with lots of sparkly stars. 2004 signified the friendship that we all shared. Drinking from glasses with “2008” on them in a banquet hall or a bar full of strangers would only denote one thing in common – that everyone is there on New Years. With 2004, however, the group was able to reminisce about the good times we all had up to that point since graduating from high school.

I don’t like making New Years resolutions. I usually end up either fulfilling them by January 31st or forgetting them several months in. One of my life goals is to not lose touch with my good friends. The first day of the year reflected that well. And now that 2008 is several weeks in, I see every sign of achieving that in the future.

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