Vol. 1,  No. 26, December 19th 2010



My book of the week is: “The New Year’s Eve Compendium: Toasts, Tips, Trivia and Tidbits for Bringing in the New Year” by Todd Lyon. Hence, my topic is doing New Years better!


For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “New Year’s Eve”; “party”; “year 2010” etc.

New Year’s Eve

“New Year’s Eve or Old Year’s Night is on 31th December, the final day of the Gregorian year, and the day before New Year’s Day.New Year’s Eve is a separate observance from the observance of New Year’s Day. In modern Western practice, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with parties and social gatherings spanning the transition of the year at midnight.Many cultures use fireworks and other forms of noise making in part of the celebration. New Year’s Eve is observed universally on 31 December according to the year numbering of the CE (Common Era), or AD (Anno Domini) convention, even in non-Christian nations. New Year’s Eve is also the seventh day of Christmas in western Christianity. Traditional and religious celebrations for e.g. the Chinese, Muslim and Jewish new year, which occur on different dates, are still celebrated separately in the cultures that observe them, on the appropriate dates each year.”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_Eve


“A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, or recreation. A party will typically feature food and beverages, and often music and dancing as well.Some parties are held in honor of a specific person, day, or event (e.g., a birthday party, a Super Bowl party, or a St. Patrick’s Day party). Parties of this kind are often called celebrations.A party is not necessarily a private occasion. Public parties are sometimes held in pubs and bars, and people attending such parties may be charged an admission fee by the host.”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party

Year 2010

“2010 (MMX) is a common year that started on a Friday and is the current year. In the Gregorian calendar, it is the 2010th year of the Common Era or the Anno Domini designation; the 10th year of the 3rd millennium and of the 21st century; and the 1st of the 2010s decade.”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010


“Each year during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, a time ball made by Waterford Crystal[1] and electric lights is raised to the top of a pole on the One Times Square building[1] and then lowered to mark the coming of the New Year. The Ball descends 77 feet (23 m) over the course of a minute, coming to rest at the bottom of its pole at 12:00 am. Toshiba’s Times Square billboard directly below the Ball counts down to midnight as well.

Every year up to one million people gather in Times Square to watch the Ball drop, and an estimated 1 billion watch the video of the event, 100 million of them in the United States.[2]”
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square_Ball

Bonus Fact #1: Canada

“In Canada, New Year’s traditions and celebrations vary from region to region. Generally, New Year’s Eve (also known as New Year’s Eve Day or Veille du Jour de l’An in French) in Canada is a social holiday. In major metropolitan areas such as Toronto and Montreal, major celebrations with music and fireworks are often held at midnight. Other common New Year’s Eve celebrations such as late-night partying are also major events in these cities and other places around Canada. In some areas, such as in rural Quebec, people ice fish and drink with their friends until the early hours of January 1.[2]

On television, the sketch comedy troupe Royal Canadian Air Farce had been known for their New Year’s Eve specials on CBC, which in addition before the start of their weekly television series, was one of their first forays into television after years on radio. Consequentially, the series finale of their television series was a New Year’s Eve special on December 31, 2008, although due to their popularity, the CBC requested that they return for a New Year’s Eve special for 2009.[3][4]
(Source:Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_Eve

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: New Year’s Eve

“Profile America — Friday, December 31st. On this New Year’s Eve, more than 310 million
Americans of all ages are ready to greet the year 2011. A hundred years ago, the U.S. population was just over 92 million — 50 years ago, it was nearing 181 million. To show how fast the nation is growing, by this time tomorrow, there will be almost 12,000 new babies on hand to welcome the new year. Tonight’s celebration will see many of the 186,000 musicians and singers in the U.S. entertaining crowds in night clubs, bars, and restaurants across the country. Also on hand will be most of the 365,000 bartenders and just over 2 million waiters and waitresses. The men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau wish you a happy, safe, and prosperous new year.”Sources: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 10
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2010, t. 80, 603
(Source: http://www.census.gov/multimedia/www/radio/profile_america/profile-even-31.php)

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: New Year’s Eve and Day

“More than 311 million – The nation’s projected population as we ring in the New Year.”
Source: Population projections <http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/2008projections.html>

S & R* ANECDOTE: New Year’s Date

“Babysitters are getting $100 an hour on New Year’s Eve,” David Letterman reported on the eve of the Millennium. “That’s more than my date will be getting!”
(Sources: “Late Show with David Letterman”)-http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=13032)


My New Year’s Eve tradition has changed through the years. In my earlier years, I went to a New Year’s party.

Grandparents’ party

As a child, growing up, New Year’s Eve was a BIG family celebration. After dinner, we went to the home of my grandparents. We were a crowd of 35+- persons: all of my aunts, uncles, cousins along with my parents and brothers plus invited guests. My grandfather picked out joyful New Year’s music, which played throughout the evening.The spirit of New Year’s Eve lived at my grandparent’s house. Just like on Christmas, my grandmother would bake all our favorite, traditional desserts and the dining room table also had finger foods, drinks, etc. At midnight, my grandfather took out the champagne and we would all toast the New Year. We looked back, reminiscing about what had happened during the past year. We also looked forward to our hoped for joy, health and prosperity. It was also a time of fun and games. My grandmother loved to play bingo. So at some point in the evening, she took out the game and we would play for a while.

Reception hall party

When I got married, we continued this tradition until my daughters became teenagers. Then, along with friends, we started to party as a family in the big reception halls. These were very glamorous soirees where everyone was dressed to kill and the atmosphere was one of joy and entertainment. They were very expensive, but it was well worth it.

Big restaurant meal

In other years, I went to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve. It was not a good experience. The dining room was a total zoo. Service was very slow. The food was not of the same quality. It was also lukewarm to cold. I decided that going to a restaurant on December 31 was not a good idea.


After my divorce, my daughters went to their own parties with their friends. For a number of years, I got all dolled up and I celebrated the new year with my single friends at our association party. I had a good time: one gin and tonic, loud music, friends and lots of laughs. Oh yes, nearly forgot, there was also some stale chips.


One year, my friend and I decided that we would celebrate New Year’s Eve at an event held in a big downtown hotel. It was a disappointment.

Party for two

The last couple of years, now in a committed relationship, I have again changed my routine. Lately, we stay home and have an exclusive party for two. We have a lovely home dinner and a couple of drinks, watching the Times Square shows. We have fun.


She has been a freelance writer published by the New Haven Register at New Haven Ct. She is on the food beat. She has written about restaurants, etc.

Her books include:
• 50 Ways to Read Your Lover
• 50 Ways to Read Your Lover: Secret Strategies That Reveal the Real Him

THE BOOK: “The New Year’s Eve Compendium: Toasts, Tips, Trivia and Tidbits for Bringing in the New Year” by Todd Lyon

Todd Lyon speaks food. She puts on her party animal hat. She aims high….look up … higher…to the top of the heap : New Year’s Eve. This is the pinnacle of Partyville and the Super Bowl of partytime. She has a sense of history when it comes to this celebration; and she has ideas and suggestions respecting themes, drinks, recipes, games, etc.  Take them or leave them – she offers food for thought (pardon the pun).  For me, it adds to my research. For that, I am appreciative. Is it the last word to be written?…probably not. I leave that to you!
(Fact Source: http://www.amazon.com/New-Years-Eve-Compendium


New Years is the start of another year. I don’t think it should start on a sour note; rather, I truly want it to be a good night for you and me. Just maybe, it will set the tone for a great year to come. This said, let’s party!

My personal comments

I always look forward to the holidays. New Year’s Eve is the second of the December festivities. This is the occasion ostensibly calling for serious partying and drinking, potentially through to the small hours of the night. It could be a time for great fun. In my opinion, it really depends on the answer to these questions:
1. “How you are feeling?” Regardless, I say: “On the afternoon of December 31, pack up the problems and stack them in the garage.  Then put on a happy face and embrace the joy and hope of the dawning year.”

2. “With whom do you  party?” I say: “This is one of the  keys.  For example – when I went to a downtown hotel party- it was an unpleasant experience. Spending New Year’s Eve in a roomful of  strangers can be lonely. I prefer being with people who are meaningful: loved ones, family friends, my girl friends, etc.

3. “Does it pass the kiss test?” I say: “Just imagine being in a glamorous hotel or hall for a New Year’s Eve party, with a room full of strangers and a friend or two. Midnight comes and everyone is toasting the new year and then strangers came around, making small talk, extending superficial wishes and giving a little peck  – believe me it was unsatisfying.  Now I’m with someone special and at midnight, the kiss is now meaningful.  At this moment,  I’m thinking of going into the new year with this wonderful person and I am hopeful that it will bring health, happiness, prosperity, etc.  I aim high for each one of you – I truly wish for you the same sentiment and experience.

The point

On New Year’s Eve, the venue is not key. The food does not have to be gourmet quality. Music is not essential. In other words, the party is not the point. Instead, it is about fun regardless the form. Most often, it is about being with one or more friends. It could be more, when with one’s  significant other.


“New Year’s Eve party ideas:   I have some!*” I suggest that you:

1. Refuse to have a lousy night. If not, it has the potential of being a total bust. If alone, making no effort, it could be a real downer! Or if at a party, you could be saying: “Boy, is this lousy, let’s leave!”

2.  Recognize that it is in your power to make it the greatest night of your life. I want you to say: “Oh boy, this is great!”
If alone
3. Decide to have fun on New Year’s Eve – plan it out:
3.1 Create one or more new tradition(s):
3.1.1 Make a meal that is out of the ordinary – try to make something different;
3.1.2 Make a phone call to an old friend or a family member, catching up on news, wishing them well, etc.
3.1.3 Do something that YOU LIKE TO DO:

(a)  Go to the movie rental store and have a home movie marathon, (if you like movies) – don’t forget the popcorn and candy. Or go out to a movie or double feature;

(b) Go bowling and ask to join up with others, already there ; and have a beer – it’s New Years.

3.1.4 Go to a specialty coffee outlet or an all-night-breakfast place for some near midnight refreshment.

If with one or more friends

4. Invite a friend or two to hang out and order take out; then get comfortable and,

4.1 View a DVD movie: a classic or new release, preferably still unseen as of yet;
4.2 Have a cool one and chill out;
4.3 Play a party game like charades; and
4.4 Watch the TV New Year’s Eve programming.

If attached and/or with children

5. Invite another couple/family or two over to your house; and

5.1Buy party favors: hats whistles, etc.;

5.2 Ask that each home contribute a meal sufficient for them, whether home -cooked or delivery and put it all out buffet/ serve yourself style;
5.3 Bring spirits or beer plus one bottle of sparkling wine;
5.4 Bring a dessert; and
5.5 Call the kids around at 12:00 AM to share the moment.

5.6 Don’t forget the midnight kiss!!

Oh sugar! My party hat fell on the dance floor and my whistle fell into the punch bowl. Oh what the hoot, have a happy New Year to you and yours! Cheers!*

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

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