The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

New Year's Eve Traditions


The interesting thing about New Year's Resolutions is that the flaws they address are usually most in evidence during the holidays; eating too much, drinking too much, spending too much money, yelling at your family, making out with a coworker behind the ficus at an office party, that sort of thing. It's a handy arrangement--when looking for ways to shore up your personality, you only have to consider the past three or four weeks. This also explains why so few New Year's Resolutions involve sculling, tanning, or sand castles. B

Auld Lang Syne

It's always funny to hear people sing Scots poetry while wearing shiny hats. I usually try to get everyone to launch into "Johnie Lad, Cock Up Your Beaver" to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon" as an encore, but by then everyone's putting on coats and calling babysitters so it's never really gotten the ensemble treatment it deserves. A

Kissing at Midnight

I'm glad to see that this tradition hasn't gone the route of mistletoe. You don't have to kiss everyone who asks, or whichever random partygoer happens to have sidled over to you, you just traditionally kiss anyone with whom you're in an established or incipient kissing relationship. Having said that, it's not so much a tradition as "the obvious thing to do." It's midnight, you've been drinking, and you're with someone with whom you share a relationship and/or birth control responsibilities. What else are you going to do? Shake hands? Notarize documents? B-


Making a lot of noise at midnight is supposed to ward off evil spirits. Just like partially every other ancient tradition, from saying "Gesundheit" to watching the Super Bowl for the commercials. It would have been interesting to live back in historical times where people apparently felt that evil spirits were ubiquitous, yet excruciatingly timid. If using a fifty-cent cardboard horn to make a duck noise scares off evil spirits for an entire year, I figure putting up a small sign saying "EVIL SPIRITS WILL BE TOWED AT OWNER'S EXPENSE" should keep them out of my hair for a decade or so. C+

Standing on a Chair and Eating Grapes

I found this "tradition" mentioned in only one place on the entire Web. I must admit, however, that I haven't looked very hard. This is because I want to believe. In my heart I want there to be people, many thousands of people, who mark the passing of the old year and the coming of the new by standing on a chair and eating grapes. I won't be doing it myself, of course, it's way too goofy, but I'd be very happy to know that other people are doing it. A

Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve

"Rockin'" has become one of those terms that have come to mean the absence of what they describe, like "extreme" and "perfectly legal." Anything described as "rockin'" is nearly guaranteed not to rock. Case in point, there is perhaps nothing less rockin' to do with your New Year's Eve than to turn on the television and watch other people having a party. Particularly if Rod Stewart's on the bill. Rod Stewart was last reported rocking in 1988, and even then it was an unreliable witness with a malfunctioning camera. D

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