By Tracy Beckerman
More Content Now

Iím not a big fan of New Yearís Eve. Sure, Iím excited that we are welcoming in a new year, but I donít think itís any reason to have to pay three times as much as I normally would at a restaurant just to get a glass of Champagne with dinner. Iím also not much of a night owl, so the idea of staying up until midnight to blow a horn and kiss my husband seems kind of silly. I can do that the next morning when it is still the new year and Iím not asleep on the couch, drooling on the throw pillows. Does it bother me when my daughter calls me a ďweenie?Ē Yes, but only because I prefer the term ďNew Yearís challenged.Ē

Of course, I was not always such a drag. When I was little, my big New Yearís goal was to stay up until midnight. I usually missed that goal by about three hours, got woken up by my parents, blew a horn and then went back to bed.

In my teens, I went out to parties until midnight, blew a horn, came home and went to bed.

In my 20s I not only stayed up until midnight, I would stay out until the sun came up and then go to bed at dawn like a vampire ... which is usually what I looked like the next day after staying up all night.

When I was a new mom in my 30s it was a moot point. I was usually up at midnight feeding a baby anyway.

In my 40s I finally realized that I could do whatever I wanted. I didnít actually have to stay up until midnight anymore. I figured at 10 p.m., itís midnight somewhere, so that was good enough for me. It was liberating to realize I didnít have to go out to dinner for the only available seating at 11 p.m. I didnít have to go to a party until midnight, and if I really wanted to watch a ball drop, I could drop a ball on the floor in my own house any time I pleased.

Of course, itís not really cool to tell people that you are a New Yearís challenged. Itís like admitting that you donít like puppies or roller coasters or ďThe Wizard of Oz.Ē New Yearís Eve is one of those things you are supposed to participate in, look forward to, and enjoy. Otherwise, people think you are Ö well Ö they think you are a weenie.

So this year I told everyone we would be away for New Yearís. Then I planned a nice early dinner for my husband and myself, rented a great movie, and planned to be in bed by 9:30.
Until I realized that I have to stay up until midnight anyway to wait for my kids to come home from their New Yearís Eve parties.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe New Yearís Ö at any hour you choose to celebrate!