It ain’t my favorite holiday. I’ve had a dull time, and a decent time, and a couple of horrifyingly bad times. I’ve gone out dancing with the girls, where we suffered from the high expectations of New Year’s Eve: each venue seemed either not good enough or too expensive, so we’d wander to the next one, which also. . . wasn’t quite right. I’ve shivered in Times Square, which is something that tourists want to do in NYC, but since I was a New Yorker and it was my in-laws’ idea, I spent the evening rolling my eyes in horror that I was even among the huddled and drunken masses. Another year, my sisters and I were the tourists and foolishly joined the drunken masses on the Champs Élysées. We were not previously aware, but going out among them with light hair secretly meant that, yes, we would like to be fondled and kissed, in spite of our “show” of kicking and screaming. All sorts of cheerful people looked on, smiling pleasantly-talk about some cultural confusion! When the guys from Brooklyn saved us, I was lying on the street, surrounded. That was more than 20 years ago (!!) and I’m still grateful. Another time I was sure I’d have fun: we had a fancy party to go to, and I wore a fabulous dress. But my husband’s most irritating friend spent the evening attached to us as if he were the third spouse, even sulking and begging us not to dance. On the way home I finally snapped and let him know what I really thought of him. Oh, dear. I’ve also done sleeping on the couch in front of the tv, of course, but that’s no fun.
And tonight we’ll do one of my favorites: a casual party with friends where the grown-ups and the kids are all happy to see each other, and the kids disappear somewhere in the recesses of the house. We’ll still be home well before midnight, but I’d rather be tucked in bed, anyway.
So what are you doing? Here are some ideas:
Saratoga’s doing First Night. If you’ve never “done” a First Night before, you buy yourself a button to gain admittance to oodles of different cultural events. Buttons are $15, kids 5 and under are free, and events begin at 6 pm.
Schenectady has a fireworks display downtown at 9:30 pm. It’s called the Bicentennial Celebration because this is Schenectady County’s 200th birthday.
In case you were wondering, Albany doesn’t do a First Night celebration because they decided to switch to the Winter Festival a few years back–I think that they realized that the most enthusiastic participants were families, so they made it even more family friendly by doing an event that’s free during the day.
If all of these sound way too late for you, remember that there are other events during the day to celebrate the new year.
Another one I didn’t catch earlier is that Bethlehem Public Library in Delmar is doing a countdown to noon activity. Or, if you’re up for a drive, the Village of Fort Plain, about an hour west, has a Snowman contest and scavenger hunt during the day and more events into the evening.