New Year's Parties Are Overrated and Forced

11:44 PM, Dec 30, 2011   |    comments
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Let's Be Real: New Year's Eve

"Let's be Real"

By Derek McGinty

I remember the first time my brother and I tried to stay up for the New Year's Eve midnight culmination.

I'm two years older than he is, but I'm the one who just couldn't stay awake. So when I did wake up, I just knew I'd missed out on something big, some sort of great spiritual transition as the calender rolled over.

Decades later apparently I'm still missing out. 

Oh, I know we try to make it a big deal. We've got the parties, the resolutions and the gym will be awfully crowded for the next few weeks.

But after awhile, it all starts to feel a little forced. Dare I say it? New Year's Eve is overrated. 

Think about it. Independence day: we celebrate America. Labor Day: nobody goes to work. Even Halloween is a party celebrating candy and costumes, all just as advertised.

New Year's Eve is the holiday with the unreasonable expectations. Not only does it have to be the biggest party ever, we want the stroke of midnight to be this penultimate, transcendent moment.  That often leads to, what we in broadcasting call, "Antici-pointment" and perhaps some overindulging trying to make it happen.

Why not scale back those delusions of grandeur, and see New Year's Eve for what it can be: A chance to get together with people you like. Maybe drink some champagne and have a good time. Now that is worth staying up for.

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