At last, a plan for New Year’s Day
My New Year’s Day Party 2014 will be like my New Year’s Day Party 2013. This means that I have already planned NEXT year’s New Year’s Day Open House, and can finally take the time to invite all the people I want, instead of forgetting half of them.
I’m not much of a planner, more of an improviser, and a panicker until the first guests arrive. I have been known to knock on neighbors doors during the party to invite them over. But now I have a plan, so I can relax. It only took me 28 years to settle on a party format that works.
I’ve been giving parties on New Year’s Day since 1986, when I moved into my first house. As the new wife in a competitive family, I wanted to claim a holiday for my own, and there wasn’t much to choose from. My husband’s mother claimed all major holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, and my husband’s older brother’s wife claimed the Jewish holidays. The younger brother claimed New Year’s Eve. So I got New Year’s Day.
It works because no matter how many New Year’s I have had in the Pacific Time Zone, I think that New Year begins at midnight in the timezone in which I was born. So when the ball drops in Times Square, I want to drink champagne and go to bed at nine o’clock at night.
The last New Year’s Eve party I stayed up late for was New Year’s Eve 1988. I was very pregnant, the baby was due in 5 days, and I was in pre-labor. I was dancing like crazy and jumping around a lot, actually alarming some of the other guests at the party who thought I might have the baby right there by the punchbowl.
I didn’t. I came home, got ready for bed, and when I was taking my eye makeup off, my water broke., and twenty-one hours of excruciating labor later my eldest was born on Jan.1. Eleven oh- five pm.
So I can throw ANY kind of party on New Year’s Day, it’s bound to be easier than what I was doing on New Year’s Day of1988.
It’s been a marathon of gaiety. I used to start with a childrens party, then I would have an open house in the afternoon for the adults. I’ve had the adult open house and a birthday dinner running concurrently, where I set up the dining room for my son and his friends, and cooked enough Fred’s Steak and mashed potatoes for twelve teenagers, who ate almost as much as the 50 adults I had in the rest of the house. I have entertained 100 or so people in my home in the early afternoon, kicked them out and half an hour later, convened with family at The Cheesecake Factory.
But next year, I’m not going to do any of that. I’m going to do just what I did this year, 2013, down to the serving help and jazz combo.
What did I do in 2013? If you weren’t there, just be nice to me in this year, and you can come see me repeat everything, exactly the same way on New Year’s Day 2014.
I’ll put you on the guest list.
Which I will start working on tomorrow.