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Originally published in the Rutland County Express on Jan. 5, 2011.

New Year’s Eve might be my least favorite holiday. Over-hyped and forced, it’s a contrived excuse for celebration that, at its best, always feels halfhearted. Why does the conclusion of a year need to be marked with such trite fanfare? Who was the first person to say, “Hey, it’s the end of the year, let’s consume large quantities of alcohol and spend way too much money!” anyway?

Every year, when the requisite New Year’s Eve planning commences among my friends, I am grudgingly pulled into the discussion. I’m not much help. I tend to set the bar pretty low — as in, I dig a hole in the ground and put the bar in it. Having low or no expectations for NYE is my preference. At best, it’s a good night out (or in) with friends. At worst, it’s a drama-filled ordeal fueled by too many drinks and inevitable disappointment.

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