Do you secretly loathe the fuss and furore around the striking of Big Ben’s clock on New Year’s Eve?
Do you hate all the hype of firework events, house parties of strangers and that long wait until you can finally grab your coat and head home to start your new year, your way?
Here, writer Cassie Theobald says she’s finally doing HER New Year approach, HER way.

Let me preface this piece with something of an argument in my defence.

I’m certainly not a curmudgeonly type.

I love the festive season, I’m a long way from being any kind of Bah-Humbug Ebeneezer, and for many a year, I absolutely adored the whole drama and delight of getting set for New Year’s Eve, then making resolutions for the year ahead.

Throughout my late teens and 20s, it was a hugely big deal to get to the shops with my girlfriends to secure a showstopping party frock for some ball, disco, house-party or whatever.

I loved the anticipation and the unique seasonal buzz that came with the period.

But then came relationships, commitments, increased family obligations, more demanding pressures of life as a woman in work, and ever more pressure to be hosting the perfect occasion, or to attend the event of all events.

So finally, two years ago, after four years of marriage and several New Year’s Eve conversations around ‘do we really have to go there?’, or ‘would you rather have stopped in with our own bottle of bubbly and a packet of chocolate digestives?’, my better half and myself finally decided to get more selfish about our approach to December 31st.

We’d had our fill of parties.
We’d hosted, attended, and done our best to be the best kind of socialites, as would be expected of most adults our age.

And sure, we enjoyed some of those parties and meals, balls and events. We laughed, chatted, drank and gorged on great food – but we pretty much always felt that we would rather have had a quiet evening where we didn’t have to ‘perform’ or see out five hours of a countdown, when we were bored within two.

Two years ago, with a matter of hours before we were due to attend a major ball in our town, and with our frock and DJ laid on the bed, my husband turned to me on the sofa as we giggled over another ‘straight to TV’ movie, and said: ‘honey, shall we raincheck?’.

After checking he wasn’t making some proclamation about our marriage, we took all of about 60 seconds to agree and justify our decision that we’d much rather stick on our pj’s, bung a pizza in the oven and spend the coming hours discussing what had been so good for the two of us about the year just past.

We made plans for our holiday intentions, mapped out our intended ‘leave’ from our respective busy jobs, and shared gratitude with one another for all that had happened in recent months.

It was the best New Year’s Eve I had had in many years, and it set the tone for how we’ve used this precious evening since.

So this New Year’s Eve, you’d find us putting on our pyjamas obscenely early, popping a glass of bubbly, and jointly cooking our favourite meal. We’ll snuggle into the sofa, aware that this is a long LONG way from the kind of New Year’s Eve which many might thing is the ‘done thing’ on December 31st, but for us, it’s just perfect.

Happy New Year to you all.
However you spend it, may it signal the dawn of another fabulous new phase in your life.