Opinion Column By: Edwin L. Crammer CPA – Each year people around the globe celebrate New Year’s Eve with a great deal of fervor. When you come to think about it, what is so important about celebrating New Years Eve? All New Years eve is that it the time we changeover from one year to the next year. Big deal! Come January 2nd nothing has changed. You still have to put your shoes on in the morning, brush your teeth and head off to work.
I guess, for most people, it represents hope. The year that is about to end might not have been so great. The wage earner in the family did not receive the raise they had hoped for. There may have been an unusual amount of sickness or even a death in the family. The hope is that the New Year, will bring new energy to the family in order for them to move forward. It may be possible that the New Year will enable the family to achieve a state of happiness that was not present in the outgoing year. This rarely happens the New Year may bring in a spike of joy temporarily but these moments usually do not last. You may someone close who is about to bring into the world a new child, or another family member, maybe you may win the lottery.
As I said these occurrences are rare but they are things to contemplate when you look forward to the New Year.
Celebrating New Year Eve can be expensive, if you let it. Most restaurants double or even triple the cost of a meal for those customers who chose to dine at their place of business that evening. Sure they usually throw in some noisemakers and fancy hats. They may even add a glass or two of cheap champagne to help you ring in the New Year with fervor. But when you look at it with clear eyes, it is still expensive and usually the food is mediocre.
An annual tradition is the celebration of New Years eve by travelling to New York’s Times Square and standing out in the cold, often shivering waiting for the ball to drop from what used to be the New York Times building, signaling the end of one year and the start of the next. I personally, visited Times Square on New Year’s eve many years ago when I was still single. Things were different back then. You only had to show up at the spot you wished to occupy to watch the ball drop about an hour and a half early. There was no live entertainment being performed in the square back then as there is today. By 12:30 AM everyone had left and the square was deserted. The streets did not reopen to traffic for a number of hours as the sanitation trucks were there to clean up the mess left by the long gone revelers.
The most interesting New Years eve that I can remember, was the year when 1999 changed into the year 2000. It was call the Millennium back then. A gay business associate of my wife and I decided to make what he considered a special New Year, a party in his backyard.
His home located in central Broward County was located in an upper middle class neighborhood. In order to prepare for the party, he boarded over the swimming pool on the patio in order to create a dance floor. He hired a three piece band to perform dance music for his guests on the patio.
His invitation specified Black tie for the men and evening gowns for the few women guests. My wife and I felt that request was strange for a backyard party, but we complied.
When we arrived at the party, I noted that there were about 50 guests in attendance, About 40 of the guests were middle aged gay males each eloquently dressed in tuxedos. The rest of the guest include about 5 or 6 straight couples, which included my wife and I. The one thing I remember distinctly from this party was the sight of about a dozen gay couples dressed to the nines, dancing the fox trot, cheek to cheek on the improvised dance floor.
Overall, the party was good, the food was good and plentiful, the liquor flowed freely.
My wife and I had a really good time.
Other than this one memorable party, New Years eve has been pretty mundane for my wife and I. In recent years, we have spent New Year’s Eve quietly with friends. Each year we rotate the house that will host the party. We chomp down on New Jersey “Sloppy Joes” (see below). They are different from the “Sloppy Joe” you all know about and love!. We then spend the rest of the evening playing Dominoes. By 12:30 AM the party has broken up and the visiting couples head home.
I believe the answer to my original question that I asked in the heading to this column is the reason people celebrate New Year’s Eve is because it time for them to release their frustrations from all that has happened to them in the outgoing year. In doing so they can let off some steam and move on to the future.
NEW JERSEY SLOPPY JOE SANDWICH (an explanation) Popular in Northern and Central New
It is a “Dagwood” style sandwich on very thin sliced rye bread. Three layers of cold cuts with Corned Beef and Pastrami, sometimes Roast Beef and or Turkey. Between each layer a dollop of coleslaw and Russian dressing is added. Each layer is separated by one more slice of bread. Each sandwich is then cut into thirds and is served with pickles and more coleslaw.
Many of the deli’s in Broward and Palm Beach County will special order these sandwiches for you but you will required to purchase a specific minimum of cuts.
These sandwiches are really good. Try it for your next party, it will make a hit.
To Contact Edwin L Crammer: e-mail at Ed@www.eyeonsouthflorida.com