New Year’s Eve hasn’t felt like a special day for me the past few years. The kids aren’t yet old enough to want to stay up until midnight and I’m no longer young enough to want to stay up until midnight. I’m also too sickly to want to stay up until midnight. Or drink or party or go out, for that matter. Besides, I’m too married for those things anyway. So New Year’s Eve has pretty much been just another day for me with the only upside being that I’ve had wonderfully hangover-free New Year’s Days for an equally long time.
There was a time, however, when New Year’s Eve was a day nearly as exciting as Christmas itself. Long before mammoth bonfires at Ghostpine Acres, long before over-indulgent bashes at Conestoga Country Club, even long before relatively tame house parties at friends’ homes, New Year’s Eve was a hugely anticipated day because it was the day I got to stay up later than any other day of the year.
As a family of four, my parents, sister, and I never went anywhere for New Year’s Eve. We would stay home, have a special meal of pizza or something equally delicious, set up the card table in our unfinished basement and play board games while watching the entertainment program leading up to the Times Square ball drop at midnight. These were simpler times.
They were also stranger times. Besides the famous, and corny, ball, the one thing that I remember most from these New Year’s Eve telecasts is that Eddie Rabbitt always seemed to be a major part of the programming. I have no idea why. I suspect it being the 70s had something to do with it. People thought brown cars and green refrigerators made sense then too.
Soon my kids will want to stay up until midnight and we’ll likely engage in a similar night of family fun playing games and watching TV. Moving time zones has killed the magic of the Times Square ball drop, then again, so has 500 channels. We will find our own, new favourites I suppose but Eddie Rabbitt won’t be part of them (he’s dead). This, oddly, saddens me.
So in honour of the great Eddie Rabbitt and the New Year’s Eve party some of you are surely still recovering from, I’m kicking off the year 2016 with my favourite Eddie Rabbitt tune, “Drivin’ My Life Away” from the album Horizon released in 1980. Happy New Year!!!!