Years ago I found New Year's to be a wonderful night full of fun and mayhem. I didn't quite understand what made the numbers rolling over so important to everybody else but it hardly mattered - for some reason that event convinced my parents I should be allowed to eat all kinds of treats and stay up way too late. Reasons mean very little beside such unfettered freedom and licence to scream, shout, and run about. After all, my exhaustion and grumpiness the next day won't be my problem, my parents will be the ones who suffer for it.
Some things have changed, others not so much. I still don't get why people get to wrapped up in New Year's celebrations, particularly given how arbitrary and meaningless our accounting of another trip around the sun really is. Christmas has just passed and those of us that celebrate it are tired and ready to stop partying and yet we launch into yet another festival. The differences now are that I am old, and thus entitled to stay up as late as I want any time I want and also that I am old, and thus don't want to stay up because I would rather be asleep in my bed.
Couldn't we all agree to move New Year's to January 20th? I am ready for another party around then with Christmas being a bit of a fading memory and me having had enough time to pay for the season's gastronomic extremes. Also, this tradition of midnight really needs to be adjusted. I am going to vote for about 3:00pm instead. That way we can all get together, those who feel the need can scream happy new year, and the children can still get put to bed at a normal time without having missed everything.
The other good thing about a January 20th celebration is it would be a great time for ReChristmas. That is, a time for everyone to bring all of the Christmas presents that didn't work out to a party to be put into a pile so that others can have a crack at them. I don't have a perfect system for this yet, but the opportunity for everyone to snag something perfect and offload things that missed the mark to a good home seems a great way to mitigate the potential waste of holiday gift exchanges. I took part in a gift exchange years ago that had a 'stealing' component where people got to grab their favourite of the 20 or so gifts available from whoever had it currently and it seemed a fantastic game as long as everyone had an appropriately mischievous and irreverent attitude. Something along those lines would be a great new tradition.