This is the second time I have started this post. The first version disappeared with a random stroke of my keyboard I hope that is not an omen for happenings in 2020. As a year, 2019 has been eventful and unpredictable enough for me and mine.
I’ve always referred to the 31st of December as New Year but most people in Canada call it New Year’s. I guess it doesn’t matter whether you add an apostrophe and s or not. W are all talking about the same date. As a kid I longed to stay up until midnight. It seemed magical that on the stroke of twelve, we lost the tired old year and gained a shiny new one. I’m not sure if I expected a significant change in the air or something more momentous. I did not discover the truth as a child because my mother never let me stay up beyond my usual bedtime.
O course as I grew older. I went to all kinds of New Year celebrations. Then I got married and had kids and things changed. If you were going out, you needed a baby sitter and they were hard to find in December unless you booked one months ahead. Sometimes if you were going to a friends’ house, you took the family with you especially if the friends had kids of their own. The first New Year with my daughter, we were invited to my uncle’s cottage at the beach. We took the baby with us and at first, I fretted about the noise bothering her but she set peacefully through the whole event. Now that I know she is a night owl, I am surprised she didn’t stay awake to join in the fun.
With the emphasis on drinking and not driving and roadside police checks, New Year parties have changed over the years. People now organize a way to get home if they have been drinking or stay over. They also are more inclined to remain at home and celebrate more quietly. I remember one time opening a bottle of wine with my husband and somehow tipping the contents over the sofa. We spent the next hour cleaning the furniture and the wall. I am not sure now if there was enough wine left in the bottle to toast the new year.
It was neat to be in New Zealand for New Year as we were the first country to see it arrive and the place where we lived in was known as the first city of the sun. In 2000, we went to a concert with Kiri Te Kanawa who came from our town and listened to her beautiful soprano voice ringing through the sand dunes with the sound of waves as her accompaniment. It was actually raining gently but we didn’t mind being wet. That was an interesting New Year with all the dire predictions about what a new millennium would bring. We were able to call Canada at one minute after midnight to tell a banking friend that everything electronic in New Zealand was working normally.
What about this year? We went down to the party room in our condo building with nibbles and wine. There were enough nibbles arranged on the bar to feed a small army. We were party poopers, sneaking back to our apartment about. 9:45. Someone later told me that everyone had let by 10 p.m. You can tell the average age of our residents by that piece of information. Maybe next year, we could put the clock ahead by two hours and pretend to be toasting at midnight. Or we could just celebrate at breakfast time on the 31st December when New Zealand has already brought in the new year.