Whew. Whatever winter festival you celebrate, it’s probably over now (deep breath…and…relax). And now it’s time to plan for New Year’s Eve, that marvelously universal night of renewal and the freshest of all fresh starts.
I love it.
I’ve done it all, from formal parties with multi-hundred dollar tickets, black velvet dresses and champagne, to quiet nights at home enjoying a homemade pizza.
But out of my many New Year’s Eves, a few stick out in my memory.
The Retro Cocktail Party
The year my husband and I moved into our first real house (and by that I mean that it came along with a mortgage, not a landlord), we threw a retro cocktail party. Why? Well, the basement had an old-school rec-room, complete with wood paneling and a dry bar. We figured: have bar, will bartend. We bought a book about cocktails at Chapters, and then hit the liquor store to stock up on some less common ingredients (at least in our beer-centric lives) like gin, triple sec, cointreau and a few more. Then I remember the quest for grenadine (ultimately we found it at a grocery store). We served up martinis, sloe gin fizzes, cosmopolitans…the more eccentric the cocktail, the better. Never mind that we still have the grenadine and other spirits in the liquor cabinet 11 years later…that New Year’s Eve, with a few close friends, in our first house, will stand out in my memory forever.
Blah. This will stand out as the stupidest most useless New Year’s Eve for me. My then-employer was soooo uptight about the whole Y2K bugaboo. I guess I can call myself one of the lucky ones…I was just on-call at home (forbidden to go out or have a single drink – and unpaid, mind you) – my other colleagues were actually on-site at work. You know, just in case all the world’s computers died and the cell phone network couldn’t function. Ooooh…tragedy! Never mind that we had all watched Australia, Japan, China, Russia, all of Europe and Eastern Canada switch over from 99 to 2000 with nary a computer hiccup. Plans had been made, and plans had to be followed. Can you believe they even bought a generator and brought it into the office, just in case? All I could think was, if the Y2K bug does happen, there are bigger fish to fry than getting a cell phone company’s call centres up and running again. Oh well. I survived!
The Effortless Good Time
One year my husband and I got tired of trying so hard to have a super! exciting! special! New Year’s Eve. We decided to just rent a few of our fave flicks and had a "dress your own pizza" party at home. No guests, no going out, nothing planned. At the stroke of midnight, we heard a popping noise, opened the blinds and were treated to a display of fireworks (at Canada Olympic Park – a great view of which we have from our family-room window). It was the perfect topper to a fun, stress-free night and will always be one of my favourite New Year’s Eves.
The Swanky Party
This was in BH days. As in Before Husband. I was young, carefree, and looking for ways to spend my money from my first real job. So I got together with a few similarly unattached friends, and we bought tickets to one of those expensive, formal hotel parties you hear advertised on the radio. It’s not like we all met rich men and got whisked away for a night of romance and brunch in Rome, but I will always remember my black velvet dress, my high heels and a good, fun night out with my girlfriends.
Well – what about you guys? What are your most memorable New Year’s Eves? What are you planning for this year? Share below in the comments.