The Day After the Night Before

Me: “Honey, what do we have going on tomorrow?”
Her: “Nothing.”
Me: “Good.”

Partied out. Visited out. Dominoed out. Holidayed out.

Our party was great but tame. We welcomed children and served no alcohol. As a result, the party was hopping at 9:00 but kind of dead by 10:30. Apparently, everyone who had multiple parties to hit in the area chose us as the First Stop and then moved onto the other, more adult parties. We had some families stick with us ’til the new year but they were the quieter, less partying types of people, so we just kind of chilled and played games, biding our time until the Stroke at Midnight. It was a good party, but it is hard to let die the youthful expectation that New Years Eve should be a wild happenin’ affair with champagne flowing and the joint a jumpin’. Still I guess it’s more appropriate that we rung in the New Year with our family and other families.

But we did not go quietly into that New Year. No sir. We rang in the New Year on our patio, with my brother’s DJ setup flirting with the boundaries between Private Party and Public Nuisance, his disco light ball a-twirlin. We had noisemakers. We wore funny hats. We did the Chicken Dance. We sang a rousing, off-key, version of “New York, New York” with Frank Sinatra. And then we toasted with grape juice and apple cider — the black coffee of the two to five year old set — and kissed everybody on the patio, making as much noise as we could muster. (It was the closest to wife swapping this boy would ever come. My wife’s cheek and lips are the best for kissing, having done the comparison.) We danced, we talked, and kept our children up way too late.

So, having cracked the tamper-proof seal on a fresh new year, we look forward with hope and renewed resolve. It occurs to me that this calendarly boundary we’ve designated — which inspires us to be forward-looking, hopeful, and resolute — is more or less arbitrarily determined. And what’s more, we should be forward-looking, hopeful, and resolute every day, not just on New Year’s Day.

But still, I am more inspired today than I was, say, two weeks ago last Wednesday. I assume that, even though we may choose any moment we wish as the divider between our past and a new start for the future, the fact that we all do it together, that we all stand and face in the same direction and ponder the same things at roughly the same time, gives us added strength, hope, and resolve.

So I am thankful for you, the readers, my friends, my family, my community and Church, and all those who stand together in various states of bleary-eyed wooziness and square your shoulders with me at this New Year. May God continue to bless you and keep you. May Her face shine upon you and give you peace. May She be gracious to you this year.

Amen.

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