Backstory: My New Year's peeve

Why not get rid of the holiday entirely?

I will be spending this New Year's Eve in Wales. (As in prince of, although the chances that Charlie will be there are remote, at best.) It will be a quiet evening spent with good friends and some well meaning sheep.

As a result, I will not be wearing funny hats, trying to find the beat on the dance floor, or drinking something with a cutesy name like Senor Fruitie. I am not flying 7,000 miles only to avoid New Year's Eve at home, although the thought does have appeal. Instead, I'd rather be asleep at midnight snuggling with my wife than trying to find her lips amid the crush of partygoers.

I used to think it would be a great service to move New Year's Eve to a warmer month. August needs a holiday besides my wife's birthday, which I firmly believe isn't celebrated by enough people. But I have a feeling even a change in temperature wouldn't do much to improve the quality of this "desperately seeking a good time" holiday.

So, why not get rid of New Year's Eve entirely? Consider all the problems we'd solve. No need to pay double, or triple for a sullen baby sitter who'd rather wear a funny hat and drink a Senor Fruitie than pay attention to your children.

No trying to stay up until midnight so you can go to sleep at 12:01 a.m. No chance to see the neighbor who borrowed your snowblower last New Year's and still hasn't returned it. And no reminders throughout the next year about your behavior at the year-end party at the Kiwanis Club.

In fact, the problems avoided by eliminating the holiday are numerous. You wouldn't have to worry about getting in all your tax dodges (some prefer to call them write offs) before midnight. The next day you could see the bowl games on TV without worrying if your head was going to fall in your lap.

Without a New Year's Eve, you could stay a year younger. You'd be able to explain to your wife you didn't forget the anniversary because it's still the same year as last year and how can you forget something you've already remembered?

Of course, there's lots of room in Wales if you want to come over. True there's not a lot to do. Walking the dog is a big night out. But no balls drop at midnight. No fireworks explode in the sky that night nor in your stomach the following morning. And you can go to sleep knowing that all your friends in the United States are eight hours away from yawning "Happy New Year" and counting the minutes until they can go to sleep.

Chuck Cohen, an advertising writer, lives in Mill Valley, Calif.

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