Nothing makes me feel more like a suburban dad than celebrating New Year’s Eve with the neighbors, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. New Year’s Eve has always been a funny holiday as it is the last hurrah in a month of eating and drinking celebrations.
There is never a lack of food and by the end of the night you have no idea what you have consumed, which is sort of the point.
As a kid it was all about Chex mix, the top 100 songs or videos of the year, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Unfortunately, for most New Year’s Eves in college I still found myself way too close to my hometown as school at Winona State didn’t resume until later in January. Working for radio stations in my 20s, my New Year’s Eve consisted of spending way too much money on a scene that was ridiculously out of line with my personality. However, I do have plenty of crazy stories from those years that I would not part with for the world.
I have now celebrated 10 New Year’s Eves as a father. Of course when Koen was a baby it was all about getting Chinese takeout and hoping for a full night’s sleep. However, ever since the kid has been old enough to stay up past midnight, we have rung in the New Year with our neighborhood.
This is where the feeling of suburbia really kicks in. Drinks and apps are spread on kitchen counters and kids run under foot. We all joke about the times “that one neighbor” had too much to drink or how different this holiday was in our 20’s.
Even dogs in backpacks make the party in suburbia.
This year the revelry was taken up a notch as the host and hostess spent hours planning and organizing games for both the kids and adults. I’m sure it felt similar to herding cats, but I think everyone there appreciated the effort even if we didn’t stick to the bracketed system.
The kids may have been more interested in the mic and sound system than the actual games?
Minute-To-Win-It style games to prepare our kids for life. . . or how to hold up a convenience store?
Parents showing-off skills we learned in our 20’s.
No one really caring who was in the lead.
Even though it’s hard to believe I am well into this stage of my life at times, I wouldn’t wish to be anywhere else or at any other point. I just feel lucky to have found a group of friends who truly care about my family.
The kiddos watching the ball drop as my son’s right sock is completely blown out. He doesn’t really seem to care?