This was a dumpster fire of a year and while I’m under no illusion that things will magically get better the minute the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, I do think we’ll collectively be in a much better place this time next year, and for that bit of hope I am grateful. And I also want to make a little bit of effort to usher in the new year in a way that might help open space for more joy and indulgence. To that end, I ordered a fancy dinner for two from a neighborhood restaurant that was a favorite when we moved to Brooklyn – it sits just at the end of the block of our first apartment, and before we had kids, we’d eat there at least once a week although we haven’t visited in recent years. It reminds me of easier, simpler times when we could make spontaneous dinner choices without securing a babysitter, and before similar restaurants sprung up all around our neighborhood, vying for our business. We’ll have filet mignon, a chocolate tart, plenty of champagne – albeit, in the comfort of our own home, alongside our kids, who will probably be eating re-heated empanadas or pigs-in-a-blanket.

Drew asked if we should get dressed up and I said, “Hell no, look what happened last year!” He asked what happened last year and I reminded him that we got all dressed up and then 2020 was shit. This NYE we will dress as we have nearly every day for the past almost ten months: leggings, sweats, slippers, I may or may not wear a bra. We’ll watch movies, although I’m not sure which ones yet. Something the kids will like until 9-ish when we’ll convince them – well, Joanie, anyway – that it’s midnight and we’ll play the New Year’s countdown on Netflix and put her to bed. Jackson will be harder to convince that it’s time for sleep, so he’ll probably stay awake until we bore him to sleep with an old black-and-white movie or whatever Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are up to. And around 9, I’ll break out some fancy snacks, like this one I’m excited to make.

For New Year’s Day, I plan to make some homemade cinnamon rolls, a quiche, and some soup and a salad for dinner. I want to continue our week of R&R with the family – it’s SO NICE not to worry about remote school this week!!! – with puzzles and games and hiding in my bedroom when the kids start screaming at each other. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we can get a long walk in – or, if my kids have their way, a short walk. Whatever, they can be bribed.

I have missed so much this year, and grieved for people and places lost forever. But I won’t miss much on New Year’s Eve. The quiet, cozy ones have been the norm since becoming a parent nine years ago, and some years I’m in bed long before midnight. I’m past the stage – or, maybe in the middle stage – of NYE high jinks, and I don’t long for the days of more. Not on NYE, anyway. But I am longing for a better 2021 than the 2020 we got, and that’s exactly what I’ll toast to Thursday night – over my filet mignon, wearing my sweats and maybe a bra or maybe not.

Happy almost New Year, everyone! We’ve made it. How do you plan to usher in 2021?

And, if you’re missing the drama, here are a few posts from the archives that deliver up some NYE angst.

“My Boyfriend Is Spending Christmas and NYE with His Wife and Family Instead of ME!”

“He Still Hasn’t Made NYE Plans With Me”

“My Boyfriend Didn’t Kiss Me At Midnight on New Year’s Eve!”

“My Boyfriend is Ditching Me on New Year’s Eve!”

“A Friend Groped My Wife At a New Year’s Party”

“My Boyfriend Left Me On New Year’s for a Vacation with His Friends”

“Should I Spend New Year’s Eve with My Friends or My Boyfriend?”