Worst Holiday Ever
Conor Friedersdorf makes the case that New Year’s Eve is our worst holiday:
New Year’s Eve is the worst holiday.
On Christmas gifts are exchanged, carols sung, and peace and goodwill extended toward all humankind. Done right, Thanksgiving includes a Turducken, traditional sides, and pie. The 4th of July ends with choreographed bursts of pyrotechnic delight exploding in the warm summer sky. Whereas here in America, New Year’s Eve is a too expensive exercise in affected frenzy and anti-climax. How fitting that the Y2K scare fizzled on the biggest New Year’s Eve of our lives, a night that Prince had been singing about for 17 years. Did your night live up to the hype?
On December 31, mediocre restaurants throughout America string absurd velvet ropes outside their doors, inflate black and white balloons as decoration, and charge three times the usual price for the same old fare plus bad champagne. Is it any wonder that our elders, as they grow older and wiser, opt to stay home and turn in before midnight? America’s most iconic New Year’s Eve celebration, the one that captures the attention of the whole country, has massive crowds gathering in New York City’s most garish neighborhood, where they watch a large ball drop as C-list celebrities narrate on TV. The typical NYC dweller can’t be lured to Times Square for dinner on an ordinary evening, so I can’t imagine how pre-New Year’s conversations go for those who attend. “Would you like to stand out in the freezing cold for hours with no place to sit or use the bathroom and drunks pressed against you on all sides?”
Even more bizarre is the fact that Californians watch a tape-delayed rebroadcast of the spectacle as the clock strikes midnight on the West Coast, with whole parties pausing to gather around the television. “Hey, quiet down,” people actually say, “Ryan Seacrest is about to come on!”
We can do better, America.
Indeed we can.
Frankly, it’s been so long since I’ve “gone out” on New Year’s Eve that I couldn’t even tell you where we went. I think it was some restaurant in D.C. that was having a New Year’s Eve special deal of some kind of another. Even then, though, staying till midnight wasn’t even considered an option. As many have famously said, New Year’s Eve is amateur hour when it comes to parties even more than Mardi Gras. As for the fare at home, I can think of few things worse than spending the last couple hours of any year, no matter how bad it’s been, with Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper, and Kathy Griffin. So, none of that either. Quite honestly, it’s already 2013 in places like Australia and I’m not quite sure why it’s a special occasion when that moment happens to hit the East Coast of the United States.