Without my nephew or niece’s family or my sister staying in my home for the countdown to New Year’s day, I do not know why I had to stay up except for the noise of the firecrackers and fireworks, and full volume karaoke singing of neighbors that prevented me from sleeping. It used to be that after the evening Mass, we were pretty busy preparing meals for the Media Noche or New Year’s eve repast. I was on a diet, and I had an invitation from my other nephew next door to share the meal with his family. I hate firecrackers because of the dangers and the air and noise pollution it wreaks. So even with the noise all around me, I tried to sleep after taking a tiny bowl of soup and nachos. I woke up at 12 am as the firecrackers exploded so loudly I had to get up. I turned on the lights in the living room, as old folks said the house should be well-lit on New Year’s eve for good luck. I waited for the noise to die down, which is about 20 minutes after 12 am to return to my bed again after I had turned off the lights.
I remember when as a young girl, I was curious about the old couple next door, about in their 60’s, who just slept through New Year’s eve noise and celebration while my family were busy eating, having fun, and lighting Roman candles to greet the New Year. Now I understand. Without little children to celebrate, it makes no sense to prepare a table spread or wait for midnight while lighting firecrackers or making noise to ward off (as the old folks say) evil spirits. I could have invited my niece and her family to celebrate the New Year with me, but I just had a tough time cleaning up after they left last Christmas and I don’t want to go through all that again.