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Kerry McLean: I've danced on a St Tropez beach and gatecrashed TV star's party, but this New Year's Eve I'll be in a onesie at home

Many people make a big deal of New Year’s Eve
Many people make a big deal of New Year’s Eve

By Kerry McLean

I can't be bothered with New Year's Eve celebrations. I know lots of people who are already really excited and looking forward to getting up and off the sofa after indulging over Christmas, but not me.

I know I'm in the minority as I listen to my friends talk about their preparations for the big night. They're getting spray tanned various shades of mahogany, they're having what seems like most of their body hair waxed or plucked out and they've had their hair appointments booked since June to make sure they're coiffed to perfection for the occasion.

Experience from previous end-of-year parties has taught them that, come the evening of the 31st, they will spend a good half-hour pouring themselves into particularly tight pairs of elasticated, hold-it-all-in-knickers in the hope of squeezing into the lovely little black dresses they bought in the run-up to Christmas.

Back then, they were the perfect fit but that was before they ate a mountain of turkey and several oranges, unfortunately of the chocolate variety, over the last week. They may not be able to breathe in and out too deeply during the celebrations but come what may they're determined to look good for the party photos being posted on social media.

Lots of you may be looking forward to putting similar beautifying plans into practise and attending some huge, elaborate New Year's Eve party but I can't think of a worse way to spend the last few hours of 2019.

I am glad to say, and trust me you should be relieved to hear, that photos of yours truly will not be appearing online and clogging up your timeline on Tuesday evening. It's good news for all concerned because from lunchtime onwards on the 31st, I will be wearing my lovely but admittedly unattractive unicorn onesie, I will have my make-up scrubbed off and my hair scrapped up into a bun. Don't get the idea that my casual dress means that I'll be sitting in a darkened room on my own. I've a decent sized crowd of family members all coming to my house, all equally relaxed in terms of appearance, munching away on turkey vol au vents and deep fried sprouts (well, you've got to use up the Christmas left-overs somehow!) and washing it all down with the remains of the mulled wine, the cream liqueur that's been languishing at the back of the booze cupboard and a bottle or two of cava that I'll dig out to toast the bells at midnight.

It may seem far too informal for some but for me a chilled out New Year's Eve is much more appealing than a frantic one. This way there's no further drain on your finances after the festive splurge, there's no struggling to find a babysitter, no chance of ending up at a party with people you don't know or don't like, no possibility of a tipsy guest getting amorous or obnoxious and there's no fighting for a taxi at the end of the night and paying double fare when you eventually get back home.

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This way I can see the New Year arrive in as relaxed a way as possible and with the people I truly love. I've plenty of wild New Year's parties in my past to compare my more recent, sedate ones to. I look back fondly on the year that saw me dancing until dawn on the beach at St Tropez, or when I and a pal gatecrashed a well-known daytime TV presenter's bash at the Groucho Club in London, and I've spent many a superb Hogmanay in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

It's not that I've no experience of a mad New Year's hooley, I just know I don't want to do that anymore. I know I probably sound like some sort of New Year's Ebenezer as I turn my back on any fancy events marking the end of the old year and beginning of the new but I'm happy to say, bah humbug to the parties! As for you all, wherever you are and whatever way you choose to wave goodbye to last year and welcome a brand new decade, I send you my best wishes and my hope that 2020 is a brilliant and peaceful year.

Belfast Telegraph


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