I just got off the phone with a friend, having asked her "What time do you want midnight to be?"
It isn't a question one asks often, but under the circumstances it was highly appropriate. See, at the House of Pook and Bug we do New Year's Eve differently. Meaning, it doesn't happen at midnight. Or rather, midnight doesn't happen at 12:00am. We decided on 7pm.
We're having four families over, all with small/ish kids, and midnight is impractical. (Because none of the adults would be able to stay up that late and still parent in the morning!) So, we go through the motions at an earlier hour. It works great and no one feels cheated of a New Year's Eve celebration.
The party will start at 4pm. We're making pizza dough and letting everyone decorate their own slices of pizza with their choice of toppings. Everyone will chip in some pizza toppings to keep it fun but simple. Because simple is the key word here. No one is going out of their way to prepare or shop. (Although the Christmas gifts still strewn on our floor will need to be cleaned up.)
I'll get out bubbly beverages, party hats (some of which say Y2K on them), streamers, noisemakers, Mardi Gras beads and plastic Hawaiian leis (just 'cause they look cool). We'll pull up a YouTube video of New Year's 2010 (they'll say hello and we'll say goodbye). Everyone will toast, kiss, cheer and generally make merry.
And then go home. And the House of Pook and Bug, all of whom are recovering from a nasty cold, will go to bed.
Happy New Year!