New Years Eve is poorly scheduled. Someone had to say it, so I did. New Years Eve can’t come close to beating the anticipation, pageantry and greedy hype of its gorgeous step-sister, Christmas. Now that Dick Clark has passed, we’re free to think outside the box. We need to seriously consider changing the date for bringing in the New Year.
Stop for a minute and try to name your favorite claymation New Years Eve TV special. That’s right, there isn’t one (unless you count “Don Ho’s New Years in Hawaii: So Long 1972 - Aloha 1973!” - which was panned by the critics and technically only included a brief clay-mation segment featuring the voices of Jim Nabors and Larry Storch).
Let’s face it, New Years Eve showing up just after Christmas is like lighting a 10 cent firecracker right after the finale of a 4th of July fireworks extravaganza.
What’s the big lure? Counting backwards to zero from ten and then yelling “Happy New Year!” ?! Seriously? The space program pretty much trumped the whole countdown thing years ago. NASA gets to zero and then hurtles human beings and monkeys into outer space in giant rockets! What does New Years Eve do when it gets to zero? It drops a big ball a couple of stories over the course of ten seconds. Technically, it doesn’t even drop the ball, it lowers slowly on a pole. When the ball reaches the bottom, it doesn’t even smash or explode or anything.
Once upon a time, when people wrote in their diaries with quills, it was a big deal to the change the year. As if such a big transition needed an exclamation point, people kissed their dates at the stroke of midnight, then they blew out the tallow candles, said their prayers and went right to bed. Times have changed. Twelve midnight is the new 8:30 PM. How else can you explain seeing families with small children out eating at Applebee’s at 10:30 on a weeknight?
As for the big New Year’s kiss, Christmas wins again, with a little something called mistletoe. You just hang that stuff up, get a tumbler of eggnog, and wait. Sooner or later the object of your desire strolls under it, and there you go. No watching the clock, no “one-time-only” restictions. Savvy bachelors will locate the mistletoe in high lady-traffic zones, like near the bathroom or the wine coolers. Since it’s some kind of poisonous weed from the middle ages, most people don’t even have any idea what mistletoe looks like. One year in college, I just stapled a piece of a plastic fern up there and got busy. None of the girls cried foul about the fake fern – though most of them seemed to avoid the first floor bathroom after that point.
I realize that society needs to change the year at some point, in order to force people to buy new Garfield calendars and to give themselves the opportunity to hope for better times to come. I’d just like to propose that we save the big New Years Eve celebrations for the end of January and New Years Day on February 1st. Truth be told, February is a sad excuse for a month, from a holiday perspective; it’s got Groundhog Day and Valentines Day and not much else. It’s almost insulting that all February gets is a holiday dedicated to paying attention to an otherwise forgotten, smelly, over-sized rodent. Groundhog Day isn’t all that special either.
If we move New Years Eve to the end of January, everyone can walk around with hangovers and resolutions to start exercising on February 1st. We won’t miss out much on New Years Day celebrations as far as January 1st goes. Most of the college bowl games have already been scattered all over the months of December and January. The Mummers Parade in Philadelphia can go on as scheduled on Jan. 1, since no one watches it except Mummers and their kinfolk anyway. The traffic won’t really be much worse just because there’s a string band in the middle of Broad Street dressed like Liberace’s lawn jockeys.
On the west coast, the Rose Bowl parade can be pushed back to February 1st. Just think how much more impressive those floats will be with an extra month available for preparations! They can still play the football game on January 1st. Everyone knows that the parade is the most important aspect of the Rose Bowl anyway.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for future posts, where I’ll propose more alternatives for making the world a better place for all of us, but especially me. These include moving the nation’s capitol from Washington, D.C to Orlando and revising the traditional colors for baby genders from pink and blue to polka dot and plaid.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to start drafting my New Year’s resolutions – I’ve only got a month or so to put them together. Things are going to be different for me in 2013, I’m counting on it!