Written by: Purdue Student
Ah, New Year’s Eve. I have found, in my many years of attempting to celebrate special occasions such as this and failing miserably once I realized that it requires actual effort and time, that these days are a lot easier and more fun when I dare not step from my comfort zone. And I’m sure many of you have experienced something similar when it comes to celebrating this or any other holiday.
When I was young, my family celebrated New Year’s with some local relatives (with the children pretending to get drunk on sparkling grape juice!). However, due to everyone growing up and moving down their own paths, this tradition has crumbled and we’re left hoping for just one more celebration all together again.
Like I said, NYE for me is a family affair, and as we’ve grown older there are new obstacles facing this attempt to celebrate:
-Baby niece is now in the picture so midnight cheers are suddenly not okay
-Most siblings are working long hours and fall asleep on the couch, the floor, the dog, by 10pm
-Younger brothers are a little too into the celebration and insist on continuing the sparkling grape juice fiascos of New Years Eves past
-Lastly, my darling fiance insisted on our anniversary being New Year’s Eve so… we can do nothing! (I am beginning to wonder if that was his intent…)
My personal dilemmas may be something you (and your family or friends) can relate to as you all grow older and more apart, but there are other, more general dilemmas that I feel everyone can relate to.
For example, the crowds. The crowds on New Year’s Eve prevent my family from even going to Applebee’s for a nice dinner because everyone else and their distant cousin four times removed has decided that this is the best day for a family reunion!
For a while, I felt defeated. But then last year, my resolution was to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the same intimate way that I did when I was a kid; with food and a T.V. (preferably one so old that its speakers keep going in an out and make the broadcasters sound like dubstep wannabes).
I begin, as I always do, with food. Secondarily, after realizing every time this is not a good place to start, I start over with the location. In this case, my family home is the best location, it may not be ideal, because there’s little space and my family is, well…themselves, and baby niece is may be a little too comfortable here as is evident by her constant babbling just to make noise, but it is home and we don’t have to deal with crowds.
Once you’ve figured out the two most important things (food and location), then you need to figure out the following:
Step One: Figure out who is going to contribute/pay for things because you may have to call out favors if you’re not able to foot the whole bill yourself (feeding people gets expensive!).
Step Two: Be thrifty. When I say thrifty, I also mean simple. There are tons of easy snack recipes out there and pizza for dinner is something no one will complain about.
Step Three: Decorations and favors. This part is important because it makes the difference between just lazing at your parents’/friends’ house and having a suitable party. I recruit my brothers to help with this part, which makes it the most time-consuming because brothers make everything a distracting process.
Step Four: Make and share New Year’s Resolutions that actually count. What I mean here is that these resolutions should reflect on how you’ve grown as a person in the last year and what you would like to do differently or perhaps continue doing. I find that these have the most worth and that it is always easier when you do it as a group activity.
Step Five: Surround yourself with people you want to be around. There is no reason to force yourself into uncomfortable situations (like big parties or crowds for me) with people you do not enjoy at any other point in the year. Especially as you grow older, life becomes more hectic and you’ll feel like you are sacrificing your own well-being for the sake of people you do not hold dear. For 2015, embrace who you truly love and start working on lasting relationships.