Happy New Year! I, for one, am happy to see 2020 arrive. Not that 2019 was terrible, but at the end of the year I always look forward to the next year and the feeling of a do-over, or at least the chance to learn from the last year and bring that wisdom into the next.
This past year was a big one for my family and career. I returned to The Westfield News after a three-years hiatus. Then, the paper was purchased by Reminder Publishing. We made some adjustments to the daily and turned The Pennysaver from a shopper into a newspaper. Our company is growing, and I can’t wait to see where it goes in 2020.
How I celebrate the start of the next decade is still up in the air. It will likely be low-key. The older I get, the more a night snuggling on the couch with my family watching movies appeals to me. When I was a child, New Year’s Eve meant one thing: New Jersey. I would head to my Aunt Ginny’s – and later my Aunt Michelle’s – in New Jersey for a family party. I would spend most of the four hour drive in the backseat of my Poppa’s car with my Walkman listening to 80s British pop. One time, for a reason I do not remember, we actually flew there. It was a 40-minute plane ride to Newark and it was fun but, alas, was a one-time deal.
We always spent New Year’s Eve with my grandmother’s family. It was a massive gathering of cousins spent laughing, eating, dancing, playing games – a highlight of my childhood. On New Year’s Day my cousins and I would hit the stores with our Christmas money. I loved going to stores we didn’t have in Massachusetts and recall thinking I was very cool to wear clothes no one else had – especially when my aunt lived in New York City and we would visit her and she would take me shopping.
After high school, I started spending New Year’s Eve with friends. We would head to Northampton or Boston for First Night activities, ending the night dancing at a club and joining the countdown, complete with a toast and noise makers. That was fun for a while, but I’m just not interested in being out on New Year’s Eve these days.
We’ve hosted friends at our home a couple of times and that was always fun. A few years in a row we had a daytime countdown playdate with my children’s friends. They were so excited to have sparkling apple juice, wear silly hats and countdown in the afternoon. Now, they want to stay awake for the real countdown. Usually they fall asleep on the couch, we wake them up at midnight, then they head to bed.
Ringing in the New Year has become a quieter affair, but still a time to spend with family, as I feel it should be. What are your New Year’s Eve traditions? Send a note to [email protected].
As my cousins say, Merry New Year!