What do you do to celebrate the final night of the year?
I’ve never really celebrated New Years. I’ve had two opportunities to go to friends’ homes who were having parties, but passed on both those. New Year’s Eve at my house is me attempting to stay awake until midnight and, more times than not, failing miserably. I wake up the next morning and a new year has begun.
If I sit still long enough, I’m out – a sign of a person who’s always on the go, a tired mom or both. I fell asleep at the doctor’s office once. I’m sitting on the table and feeling so sleepy. I laid down and was out. The doctor came in and commented that he’d never had someone fall asleep before. I told him that I’m tired all the time and if given the opportunity, it happens. He said that’s not normal. I begged to differ. It’s my normal.
My boyfriend said it’s like dating a person with narcolepsy. We rarely make it through a movie. Well, he makes it. I’m out somewhere fairly close to the beginning of the movie. Because of this, I’ve seen the beginning of many a movie and not the end.
While I don’t have a New Year’s celebration tradition, apparently others do. I found some weird traditions online that sound like they could be made up:
• In Denmark, they save all their unused dishes and plates until Dec. 31 when they shatter them against the doors of all their friends and family – I would not suggest anyone outside of Denmark try this. It would probably result in a call to 911.
• In Ecuador, they celebrate the New Year by burning paper-filled scarecrows at midnight. They also burn photographs from the last year. I really can’t understand this one. It makes zero sense to me. Haven’t these people heard of cellphones? No burning, just hit delete.
• In Spain, they eat 12 grapes at midnight. It’s one grape for each month of the year and it's supposed to bring good luck. I love grapes, but I’m not sure I want to force 12 down in a minute. Sounds like a Fear Factor challenge.
• In Japan, they ring all the bells 108 times in alignment with the Buddhist belief that this brings cleanness. It’s also considered good to be smiling going into the New Year as it supposedly brings good luck.
• People in a small Peruvian village hold the Takanakuy Festival. At the end of December, they fist fight to settle their differences. They can then start the year off on a clean slate.
• In Switzerland, they celebrate the New Year by dropping ice cream on the floor. What in the world? On purpose?
Because I rarely make it until midnight, I won’t be tossing unused dishes, my pictures are safely on my cellphone, I’m not punching anyone, and ice cream does not have a 30-second rule so do not drop it.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.