January 2008 Archives

More on the Kindness of Strangers

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My sister really sort of hates New Year's Eve, mostly because it's her birthday. Some people think December 31 would be a great birthday, because there are always lots of parties--but the thing is, they're almost never for you. People usually have their own agenda on New Year's Eve, and they don't want to come to a birthday party for you every single year, plus if you host a party on December 31, people expect it to go til midnight and so forth. Then there's the business of birthday gifts: Only people who really love you and think ahead manage to buy you a present and send it to you in time; a lot of people do that whole horrible "This is both your birthday AND Christmas present" routine, or else they send you stuff in mid January. At least, this is what my sister tells me, and I believe her.

I don't dislike New Year's as much as my sister, but it's not my favorite holiday. Part of it is that there's no prescribed activity, aside from having fun, and I generally resent forced frivolity. I prefer holidays with clearly defined activities: eat turkey and pumpkin pie, or go door-to-door asking for candy, or give and receive gifts. The activity is dictated by custom; whether or not you have fun is entirely up to you.

I've had plenty of spectacularly forgetable New Year's Eves, and I've had several that genuinely BLEW. I want to talk about that, but before I do, I must say that last night was just about the best New Year's Eve I've ever celebrated in my whole life.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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