I don't quite remember how old I was when I stayed up all night at a slumber party with girlfriends to celebrate the New Year, but at the time I was pretty sure it was the best New Year's Eve ever.
Other New Year's Eve celebrations sort of blend together in my head until one when I was in college when I went out to dinner in San Francisco with a guy I had a huge crush on, and then met up with a group of his friends for one of the big hotel parties. I was pretty sure that was the best New Year's Eve ever.
After college, Brian and I were living together, and we invited friends over for New Year's Eve. We had a spaghetti dinner at our house, walked along West Cliff, then went down to First Night Santa Cruz to count down to midnight at the clock tower. In the morning, eating breakfast with Brian and our friends, I felt content, pretty sure it was the best New Year's eve ever.
In 2001, Brian and I decided to get married on New Year's Eve. We planned a small wedding at his parents' house, with just family and a few close friends. The ceremony began just after midnight. In the morning when I woke up beside him at a hotel in Marina del Rey, I knew I'd just had the best New Year's Eve ever.
When we told people our wedding plans, many warned us that we would never be able to celebrate our anniversary properly because of the New Year's celebrations. I informed them that our anniversary was actually going to be on January 1, so it wasn't really an issue. But for the most part we have spent New Year's Eve celebrating our anniversary. Neither one of us is a big partier, so we generally just fix a nice dinner at home and drink a bottle of champagne. Sometimes we don't even make it until midnight. Then, sometime in the days just after New Year's Eve, we go out to a fancy restaurant to celebrate again. It's exactly the way I enjoy spending New Year's Eve and my anniversary.
Today is my due date. The baby seems uninclined to make an appearance any time soon. I've done even less to plan out a nice dinner for tonight than usual. (We did go to Rasika last weekend to celebrate in advance, in case the baby did deign to grace us with her presence in a timely manner.) We don't have gifts to exchange--no wood, nor silverware, or anything else--because it didn't even really occur to us. The odds of me staying awake until midnight are slimmer than usual. All we care about is spending all the time we can together while we eagerly wait for our new family member.
I'm pretty sure this is going to be the best New Year's Eve ever. And an even better year lies ahead.