When I was a little girl we always went to my nan and grandad's house in the East End of London to see in the New Year. My cousins and I used to love it, not only was it the last family get together of the season, but we got to stay up late! As midnight approached we all used to go into the front street and be armed with metal dustbin lids, two each, and as midnight struck we used to bash our lids together and my uncle used to shout Happy New Year. My nan's neighbours would come out and it was a great moment every year. I was laying in bed this morning pondering where all those dustbin lids came from, my nan certainly didn't have enough bins for two each - there was quite a few of us - presumably my memories have left me with an impression there were more lids than there actually were in reality or my uncle's and dad 'borrowed' them from the neighbours!
As time passed and we inevitably preferred to go out with our mates at New Year, years were spent in the pub squashed, merry, and trying to hang onto your drink that had taken half an hour to buy and trying to avoid the bloke who came out once a year to snog girls that he would usually have no chance with!
By the millennium New Year dh & I had a 10 month old baby and went into our little back yard to watch the fireworks our neighbour inevitably set off - he went all out for millennium - and drank champagne.
And for the past several years we have stayed in, neither of the girls enjoy parties and so we watch Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny, dh is usually asleep and I wake him up just before midnight. Last year however my neighbour from two doors away was rather inebriated and flashed her chest at dh through the front window at midnight, being a rather buxom lady he woke up rapidly :0) Her 80+ year old mother was also extremely unsteady, having decided she no longer needed a walking stick , and was unable to get up her stairs - she lives next door - so dh and I (me in pjs) ended up in the street, singing and shouting out Happy New Year and pushing and shoving a drunk OAP upstairs to bed.
It seems I've come full circle, back out in the front street at New Year!
So whatever your age, and whatever you do, here's wishing you all a very happy and peaceful New Year x