All of this is completely arbitrary of course, but it's fun to celebrate change with the entire world.
And we get to stay up past our bedtime!
On Sesame Street, all of the grown-ups head out for their fancy parties while the kids and Muppets stay behind to have their own party. They eagerly await midnight to watch the ball drop (off Wolfgang the Seal's nose).
It's not as majestic as Times Square, but at least there are puppets.
Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover host a special on the Monster News Network to ring in the New Year, having correspondents around the world teach us about their New Year's customs. Most of these segments include cameos from the actual international versions of Sesame Street. But when those puppets aren't available, we are treated to "Elmo's cousins," (a.k.a. Elmo dressed up in stereotypical outfits with thick accents.)
Totally not offensive at all.
And, of course, Oscar the Grouch uses any opportunity to destroy people's merriment. For young Telly, the new year represents the unknown, which frightens him. He would rather keep the old year going forever. And when Oscar convinces him that when the year ends so does time itself, Telly transforms into an apocalyptic doomsayer, trying to convince everyone to stop the new year from coming.
Telly needs help.
But he brings up a good point. We all accept the New Year with open arms, as if it won't be exactly like the previous one. There will be great moments and new developments, but there will also be many scary unpleasant moments as well. Why else do we party so hard on the last night of the year? We are not just saying goodbye, we are saying good riddance! Why shouldn't we fear another year of the same?
We put lampshades on our heads so that we do not have to face the future.
Of course, if we avoid the future, we miss out on all that makes the year great. We resolve to make the world a better place and while some of us may forget or mess up, we keep trying and we keep improving our lives. The old year wasn't so bad, but everyone can use another chance. You don't know what the best years of your life will be until the end, so it just makes sense to make each one better than the previous one.
Make this sendoff count, because the old year is never coming back.
As the ball drops tonight, think of all the magical moments from this year, and resolve to make ten times as many next year! It's not the end of the world. We've still got plenty of time to make our lives the best they can be.
Happy New Year!!!!