We’ve never been big on New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Greek God(zilla) and I.
I tried to do the whole ‘party of the year’ thing when I was (much) younger, but always felt something was missing. Like control over my personal space, clear access to the bar, and an affordable taxi home. As I made my way into my late twenties, it was not uncommon for me to stay home by myself on New Year’s Eve, with just a bottle of Barolo for company. Actually, I don’t think I discovered Barolo until much later, it was probably more likely to be Jacob’s Creek back then.
In the Greek God(zilla), I found a like-minded soul with no desire to see in the new year from anywhere other than the comfort of his own sofa either. We were a party pooping match made in heaven.
So, a new tradition started. We’d have dinner out and then return home in time to watch Hootenanny on the telly, smug in our ‘we’re too cool for new year’s eve’ kind of way.
When I got pregnant with our son, things changed a little bit. We ordered a take-away for 6pm and I was drooling into my pillow HOURS before Jools Holland even tapped his first key on the piano.
With a newborn baby, I do not think we even realised it was new year’s eve at all. If we were awake at midnight, it would only have been to answer the call of a night feed.
The following year, we invited my sister and her family to welcome in 2011 with us. Having been up since 5.30am with toddlers, we all strained to keep our eyes open until midnight but clinked glasses on the stroke of 12, before collapsing straight into bed at 12.03am.
Chicken pox arrived on the eve of 2012, so that new year was spent applying calamine lotion to a very itchy 2-year old.
I was pregnant again the following year, sadly lost a few days into 2013, so another quiet night in for us. As was the following year, with a 4-year old sporting a broken arm in a soft cast.
This year was different though.
We did not have a newborn baby, a poorly baby, or a pregnancy to consider.
Nor were we sleep deprived.
There was an unopened bottle of Barolo in the rack.
A child who sleeps in until 8am.
This was our first year in many when we could go out for an early family dinner if we fancied it. Or, invite friends over for champagne and dancing on chairs. Drink nice wine. Stay up late.
But we didn’t do any of those things.
We ordered a curry, opened a bottle of fizz and flicked the remote control back & forth before realising there was absolutely nothing to watch in the 3-hours leading up to Jools Holland’s Hootenanny.
Apart from the Worlds’ Strongest Man, which is what we ended up watching until I gave in to extreme boredom and went to bed.
Asleep by 10pm.
We are in our forties, some might say our prime party years, yet we woke up in the new year feeling like we had slipped into early retirement.
This year, we are going to fill our house with people. Or, someone else’s house. We want to stay up late drinking wine, playing games and laughing with friends.
Just like we do at Christmas. On birthdays, names days, Easter and most Saturday nights.
Because, when we rejected our invite to the biggest party night of the year to stay home and ‘keep it real’, we realised we were doing anything but.