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What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Posted at 4:48 AM on December 31, 2008 by Dale Connelly (28 Comments)

Has New Year's Eve changed, or have I?
It doesn't feel like a very special time anymore.

I remember growing up with the clear idea that the evening of December 31st was when careful, reserved, obedient adults were allowed, even encouraged, to suspend the rules of normal behavior and greet the year in togas. Though not allowed to stay up late enough to celebrate personally, I would peek out the window at midnight, fully expecting to spot my staid neighbors (actually named Mr. And Mrs. Sober), foaming at the mouth and swinging from the trees.
I never actually saw such a thing, but every young boy has hopes.

Today, the idea of a raucous, boozy send off for a dozen miserable months seems old fashioned and pointless, especially with our increased awareness of the social cost of drunk diving.

Oh, there are parties, but parties happen all the time.
It's like the 24 hour news cycle - the CBS Evening News used to be an event.
Now it's just another half hour in a sea of talking.
And so it goes with "Auld Lang Syne".
Is New Year's Eve still special? And if it is, how should it go?

Comments (28)

Happy New Year Dale and fellow listeners!

On the poll, I would choose in bed and asleep by 8 p.m. and ordinarily that's what I'd do. But instead I think I'll be spending it at my favorite singer/songwriter venue here in Nashville listening to a lot of great friends, old and new.

Posted by Wendy V | December 31, 2008 5:30 AM

Hello and Happy New Year Dale and friends!

With our 4 older kids grown and out of the house, we will be micromanaging the life of our 15-year old tonight, and drawing straws to see who stays up to pick him up to come home...all attention is on him for now...

Happy New Year!

Posted by Michelle in Winona | December 31, 2008 7:21 AM

Hello and Happy New Year Dale and friends!

With our 4 older kids grown and out of the house, we will be micromanaging the life of our 15-year old tonight, and drawing straws to see who stays up to pick him up to come home...all attention is on him for now...

Happy New Year!

Posted by Michelle in Winona | December 31, 2008 7:21 AM

Close friends, family, sparkling cider and rented movies - that's us!. We have a birthday to celebrate at the end of the year, so our party has a special, happy focus, as well.
I guess the New Year's Eve bash is just another excuse to over imbibe for many - I've seen the results of it appear in the Emergency Room too many times, and wish it wasn't so.
Still, we need to acknowledge the ends of things - the year, an education, the Morning Show. We need to review, sum up, explain and marvel. It is the human way. Then we move on, and the future is tantalizing!

Posted by Teri in Zimmerman | December 31, 2008 7:35 AM

Happy New Year Dale and Jim Ed!

Had to laugh at the image of people swinging from trees, and would like to see some glee like that. A great song to accompany that would be Sonny Landreth's "Gone Pecan".

I LOVE the Karen Savoca song "The Year" - It's the best suggestion for 2008!

I'm loving Radio Heartland, so have a great 2009 to look forward to.

P.S. I was at SIU '74-'76 - did my swinging from trees down there! Launching point, Jim's Pizza.

Posted by Gail in Wisconsin | December 31, 2008 7:38 AM

We'll probably stay up late with our 5-year-old - maybe midnight, maybe not - watch a classic movie with some popcorn. Channel 9 in Chicago used to play Fred Astaire movies on New Year's Eve when I was a kid and I'd stay up and watch them with my best friend, so I always associate NYE w/classic movies. I've been to many New Year's Eve parties over the years, but the ones I really enjoyed included a bonfire and singing.

Would it be possible to play "Cheek to Cheek" this morning?

Thank you, Dale & Mike, for all the great music! We love it!

Posted by Merry | December 31, 2008 7:41 AM

Good Morning and Happy New Year Dale and Jim Ed

My wife Terri and I are long-time listeners and happy to listen this morning from a hotel room in Colorado. We don't have internet at home so this is a special treat.

Terri and I got married this summer and were pleased to have Bill Staines sing at our wedding.

We would love to hear Bill sing "Child of Mine" in honor of this special year.

Posted by Fred & Terri | December 31, 2008 7:41 AM

Happy New Year Dale and fellow listeners!

I hope to spend part of the night at a church I sometimes attend. This church has an end of the year service that includes a symbolic burning of a list of the things people want to leave behind in 2008 and the creation of a list of the things that are wanted in 2009. It's kind of nice.

But if the roads look bad, I'll be happy to be at home.

Posted by Patricia | December 31, 2008 7:46 AM

Happy New Year Dale and Jim Ed,

A big thanks to Dale for keeping the music coming and a sad good bye and best wishes to Jim Ed.

I voted for other in the list of things I might do this evening, but going to bed at 8 comes closest. I doubt that I will be able to stay up to welcome the new year. I think I will be spending part of the night with one of my daughters and her husband who will probably be here and we do have some sparkling wine to drink, probably before midnight.

Posted by Jim | December 31, 2008 8:02 AM

Good Morning All,
Loved hearing Kermit and Jim Ed a few minutes ago.
This New Year's Eve I'll likely spend with a glass of wine, my new David Sedaris book and the accompaniment of RH. At midnight I'll get crazy and dance to Modest Mouse's Float On and Cold Play's Viva La Vida in my dining room. Did you know you can do the Pony during the latter song's entirety? After that I'll kiss myself in the mirror and call it a year.
Thanks for being here!

Posted by Donna | December 31, 2008 8:07 AM

i like the idea of burning the list of things of which one wants to let go; i've heard too many people talk about how they'd do things differently - useless, unless it helps them do better in the future. if i thought about it, i'd probably regret almost everything, so i LOVE the song "I Regret Everything" because it pokes fun at that sad kind of thinking.
Happy and Healthy New Year to you Dale, Mike and all the listeners and contributors to this blog.
barb near Barnum, trying just to learn and not regret

Posted by barb | December 31, 2008 8:13 AM

Happy New Year to All! It will be a quiet New Year's here at home watching a movie or two and having fondue. No exchange students this year, and our son isn't old enough to go out elsewhere, so maybe we'll stay up until 12, maybe not. Need to be at the airport to see friends coming thru on layover for a couple hours between 6 and 7 a.m., so going to bed earlier sounds great. All friends and family far and near will be in my thoughts, especially those abroad.

Any chance you could play Tidvatten by Anna-Lotta Larsson and/or something by Ana Caram? Haven't heard them in ages! Thank you!

Posted by Amy in St Paul | December 31, 2008 8:17 AM

I remember New Year's Eve when I was a tyke in the 60's. If my parents went out, my brother and sister and I stayed home with a sitter and we got to drink pop and eat popcorn. In the morning, there would be 3 of those party hats, one for each of us, on the breakfast table and we were responsible for getting our own breakfast and watching the parade on t.v. quietly while our parents slept in. If they stayed home, we had to go to bed at our usual bed time, but they would wake us up to eat crackers and cheese, drink pop and bang pots and pans at midnight. Nothing is as interesting as it was when we were kids, but we will be drinking sparkling cider and watching the ball drop on t.v. and looking forward to a new year.


Posted by Darcy | December 31, 2008 8:31 AM

How nice to hear Jim Ed - loved his idea of Kermit's 'being green' song, a great old favorite. My youthful memories of New Year's are of babysitting for the neighbors until the wee hours of the morning (remember the Late Late Late shows?) and getting a nice big tip for staying up so late. Those were the good ole days! We'll watch a movie tonight and go to bed early. Tomorrow we're going sledding with the neighbors and their grandchildren. Happy New Year everyone! Here's a toast to Radio Heartland, Dale and Mike!

Posted by Cathy in Woodville | December 31, 2008 8:33 AM

I can think of no better way to celebrate the new year than a visit from Jim Ed Poole! December 11 was definitely one of the most bittersweet days of the year. 2008 saw the end of an era in the end of The Morning Show, but so far I like the era of Radio Heartland.

I'll be going to bed early tonight so I can get an early start to the cabin tomorrow morning for a Winter Wonderland weekend. Happy New Year all!

Posted by jill | December 31, 2008 8:39 AM

Boy, you're really into the tropical New Year's Eve, Dale!
I did a version of that while I was an exchange student to Brasil during HS. It was extremely hot, being summer, so after we stayed up at the club dancing all night, everyone jumped into the pool -with their clothes on- to cool off. Same thing happened at the end of Carnaval in February that year. And Gal Costa's Festa do Interior was THE party song at the time, so you can imagine the dancing was not often slow, but rather fast and frenzied samba and free-form. It was fun, but just not the way this WI/MN girl needs to spend her New Year's every year.

Posted by Amy in St Paul | December 31, 2008 8:51 AM

Greetings Radio Heartland!

As a child my parents usually had friends over for New Years Eve and there were drinks and special snacks, but nothing outrageous. Herring in wine sauce is still my special snack on New Years Eve.

As a young adult, I did the disco thing and enjoyed excessively or worked in discos on NYE, which was weird. Now we all sound like very sensible and staid adults celebrating with sparking juice at home. Which is exactly what I will be doing with my 2 boys tonight! Our oldest in Marines went back to base yesterday.

I still think its important to acknowledge beginnings and endings like the ceremony someone mentioned. Happy New Year to all.


Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | December 31, 2008 8:53 AM

I've had enough drama for 2008. My cats will enjoy my company as we hit the sack at 8 pm.

Posted by Lee in Los Angeles | December 31, 2008 8:54 AM

In the 50s when we were kids, our parents either hosted parties at our house in the basement rumpus room (with the pink sink in the wet bar) or went out to fancy parties in formal evening dress. We kids were not allowed downstairs except at the very start of the party, where we made a brief appearance in our pajamas. We would get up really early the next morning and stealthily make our way around the rumpus room, tasting the mixed nuts and other leftover goodies, marveling at the streamers, confetti, party hats, noisemakers and other exotica of the adult world.

Over the years there were many fabulous and mundane New Year's Eves, and now in late middle age I look forward to spending the evening with good friends, maybe eating out or going to a movie. But being in bed and asleep by 8 pm also sounds inviting. Cheers to everyone for the new year.

Posted by Kathleen | December 31, 2008 9:15 AM

For New Year's Eve we just walk across the street and drink wine with our favorite neighbors. Then on New Year's Day we have an evening potluck with our Sacred Circle Dance group.

I love how Radio Heartland is progressing, and am so impressed with the line up of songs this audience has requested to say goodbye to 2008! For a song to USHER IN 2009, I would add "Earth Moves in a Mysterious Way" by Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozen.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | December 31, 2008 9:44 AM

NY plans for 10ish years and running: absolutely stay out of the bars, where its amateur night and all the folks who can't hold their booze use the calendar change to celebrate said inability. Instead, head to a friend's house to visit with old friends & catch up on the news in one anothers' lives. Some leave early, some stay for brunch.

Posted by bsimon | December 31, 2008 9:56 AM

i reckon i'm happy enough to leave this year behind....with more of relief than of celebration :-)

just another turn of the page, to me, but my 8 yr old is excited about trying to stay up til midnight, so we'll do that at a neighbor's, who is planning for snacks, board games, and a toast at midnight (actually, a toast at the East Coast midnight, and then a toast at our Midwest midnight)

my goal is to lighten up enough to enjoy the games :-)

Posted by Kay H | December 31, 2008 10:31 AM

My husband and I host a small gathering of the sparkling-cider-and-is-it-midnight-yet type. We have our Fireplace DVD going and - well - there is the Wii. Last year's boxing almost got out of hand. New Year's Day we take a 2 hour yoga class that gets our minds and bodies humming - and helps offset the lack of sleep from the night before.

Happy New Year to all - looking forward to the potential for change for all of us.

and as a general idea - maybe RH can have an hour of World music each day. I know it's already scattered in the regular playlist, but maybe a Northern European hour one day, a Southern African another...Japanese....something that really gets other forms of music out there for us to hear.

Posted by Patty | December 31, 2008 10:36 AM

What a way to begin a new year! A reminder of how old I feel.

Actually, the last partying I did on New Year's Eve was over 25 years ago. It was a good time with friends at home with some bubbly and NYE computer games I wrote for the AppleII.

Since then, not so much partying, but more parenting.

Posted by Ken in Northfield | December 31, 2008 11:34 AM

I vote for body surfing. Just once in my life before my bones become too fragile.

Posted by Carolyn | December 31, 2008 11:51 AM

The best part of my mornings used to be the drive to work. Now it is getting to work to log in to Radio Heartland. I guess early to bed and sweet dreams of the Morning Shows of the past and the Heartland shows of the future would be a great New Year's Eve for me.

Posted by Jim | December 31, 2008 12:12 PM

We will spend the New Year with the same friends we spend New Years with every... holy smokes, we've become our parents. My wife is actually visiting her parents and my son has requested leave to go to a younger cooler party. The jury is still out.

I finally came up with a song that represents 2008 to me: "Grand Illusion" by Styx. Yes, I realize it is not a song that probably ever graced a Morning Show or Radio Heartland playlist, but it does sum up my feeling about this year. Maybe the material age that started in the 80's is really over.

Keep up the good work!!

Posted by Bill | December 31, 2008 2:02 PM

Happy NEW Year!

Dale, I am sure you've already planned it but I hope you will help us see in 2009 with Alan Sherman and Mr Lang's Sign.

My favorite absurdity after moving here from the east coast-being able to watch the ball drop at 11pm and not having to wait until midnight to celebrate. I trust that you and the rest of RH used your leap second well!


Posted by Beth-Ann | December 31, 2008 5:23 PM

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