Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I have always made New Year's Eve the focal point of my holiday festivities.
In my single days, New Year's Eve was a night when parties were heightened with flirty dresses and fancy cocktails and boys that looked much cuter at midnight. The evening would always take so many unexpected twists and turns that you never knew exactly where you were going to end up at midnight— scaling an icy fire escape to get an awesome rooftop view of the ball dropping in Times Square, kissing a handsome stranger from Australia whose name you couldn't get quite right, jokingly accepting a dance-off challenge at a loft party in Tribeca and then watching in horror as an expectant circle of party-goers formed around you... anything and everything was possible.
Later on, when my friends started coupling off, I made a tradition of throwing big pot luck dinners. Using desks and bridge tables and lots of white tablecloths, I would create one long dining room table that would stretch the entire length of my apartment. I'd borrow place settings and silverware from neighbors to make sure that no person was left with something unworthy of New Year's Eve like a paper plate or a plastic champagne glass. My guests didn't bring six packs or bags of chips. They rose to the occasion with crabcakes and short ribs with specific cooking times and fancy serving dishes. One year, a friend whipped up made-to-order crepes for dessert and another year, someone came armed with a blender and a signature cocktail. I always had three playlists worked out— one for before dinner, one for during and one to hit at midnight. It wasn't unpredictable but it was still exactly what New Year's Eve, in my mind, was supposed to be— SPECIAL.
And then we had a baby. If there is anything sad about having a baby (cover your ears, Mazzy), it is the loss of New Year's Eve. Last year we were supposed to have a dinner party with two other couples who also had newborns. Mazzy, at the time, was less than a month old. But one of the babies got sick and as a result we only had one couple over. Which was lovely. But it was no New Year's Eve.
And then there was THIS year... Continue reading on Mommy Shorts