New Year’s is the worst holiday

Champagne glass and disco balls on colorful background

Yes It is True, New Year’s is the worst holiday. I was going to quit all my bad habits for the New Year, but then I remembered that nobody likes a quitter.

On Christmas, gifts are exchanged, carols sung, and peace and goodwill extended toward all humankind.

Done right, Thanksgiving includes a Roasted Turkey, traditional sides, and pie, oh yes we must have pie. The Fourth of July ends with choreographed bursts of pyrotechnic delight exploding in the warm summer sky and for me hours of standing in front of a hot grill.

Whereas here in America, New Year’s Eve is a too expensive exercise in affected frenzy and anticlimax. How fitting that the long dreaded Y2K scare fizzled on the biggest New Year’s Eve of our lives, a night that Prince had been singing about for years. ”Well basically, after Y2K, the Rapture, and the Mayans, my retirement plan is pretty much dependent on an asteroid hitting the Earth.”

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Did your night live up to the hype? Ours will consist of an assortment of guilty but delicious pleasures. All bad for us and our waste band but frankly we don’t care at this point.

Did you make a year-end resolution? For most, a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.

Going out tonight is unthinkable these days, 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 captured the attention of the whole country, had 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. New Years forecast: Mostly drunk with a slight chance of passing out.

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?”

Revelers around the world have been welcoming 2017 with crackling fireworks displays and loud cheering, saying goodbye to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts and the deaths of several beloved performers.

The people of Sydney were treated to a glittering display over their famed harbor and bridge that honored the singer David Bowie and actor Gene Wilder, who both passed away in 2016.

The tone was more somber elsewhere, though, including Berlin, where some expressed worry about the political mood in Germany. It was also relatively quiet in China’s two largest cities, Beijing and Shanghai.

Even more bizarre is the fact that we Californians watched 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!” It just doesn’t get worse than that.

In New York City, meanwhile, people packed into Times Square hours before midnight to secure coveted spots to watch the annual ball drop. New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Ball drop? Didn’t we already have the results from the Presidential election?

Many Americans feel they were under the big ball when it fell.

We can do better, America.

We excel at nothing if not co-opting foreign traditions to enrich our own culture. Next year at this time, we will be surviving the first year under heir Trump. It will be a year to give thanks it is over and we are still here. It is also a countdown and reality check we have 3 more years to go.

Below is a selection of people around the world celebrating the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

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Fireworks explode in the sky over Rome as people celebrated the new year, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

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