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Happy Holidays: Less than perfect

in Philosophies/Society
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NYE is supposed to be magical. As one year turns to the next, we want our entrance to be grand, but it doesn’t always meet expectations. We wanted to take those disappointing NYE experiences and turn them into laughs. We asked for your funny stories, so here we go:

1. Santa surprise 

“When I was a child Santa used to come to Greece on New Year’s Eve. Nowadays this has changed of course, along with many other things, and he follows his Western counterpart. Actually Santa in Greece is called St Vassily and I have never met him personally. My parents used to tell me that he came through the window (there was no fireplace in our house), and that he always ate the sweets we put for him near the Christmas tree. This I could attest thanks to the fact that his plate would later be empty with only a few crumbs left.

“Yes, New Year’s Eve was a day of extreme joy and expectation. My siblings and I had to take an afternoon nap so that we could stay up late, till midnight, when the New Year would come and we would welcome it with songs and games. In reality, our siesta provided our parents with some time during which they could stage Santa’s coming and going.chocolate santa

“The reward for this forced boring unnecessary sleep was the discovery of the presents inside our socks, our shoes, our wellies as soon as we would wake up. But there was a year when things did not go exactly as planned. Or rather they did for everybody else but me.

“In our house there was a small room with a big bookcase and a cheap wooden table on which we had lunch when we came back from school and there we also did our homework. At times of boredom, my sister, my brother and I would scribble on its surface our names, silly verses, or sentences that we thought should remain there for all eternity.

“It was in this room that my sister, who was 4 years older than me, summoned me one New Year’s Eve. I was 7 years old then.

“‘Τhere is something I have to tell you’, she said, a little before going to bed for the best siesta of the year.

“‘What is it?’ I said, unable to foresee the storm coming.

“My sister loved me and felt she couldn’t bring herself to utter what our parents had entrusted her to tell me. She didn’t want to hurt me but still she had to do her duty.

“She wrote something on the wooden table. Then she guiltily nodded to me to read it.

“‘Santa exists only for children under the age of 7, I read and couldn’t believe my eyes.

“‘No, it isn’t true, it isn’t true’, Ι cried in a state of complete denial. Ι searched for my parents who had to confirm my sister’s written statement.

“Oh what a horrible New Year’s Eve for me!”

– Lito Seizani, Greece

2. A “poor” experience

“I was in New Zealand during NYE once and at the time we were working in a luxury lodge, where people spent a lot of money for a room. Accordingly, there were some really rich people there, but the manager was a really nice and casual German guy. Just before midnight we were asked to come out of the laundry room and kitchen and to go outside to the fireplace to join everybody else and have a glass of champagne. When one of the rich elderly ladies spotted us, she said to the manager: ‘Oh! We have the poorer people drinking with us today!’ It was more like a question really. He looked at us in a funny way and we had to step aside to giggle. A few minutes later a boy was rolling around on the lawn in the rich lady’s fur coat and she got really mad. We all just thought, ‘Well done, mate!'”

– Peggy Spitzner, Germany

Fireworks of champagne3. Sylvester’s special Silvester

“I used to spend NYE with my mother. There was the year we celebrated with a little party at her house and we made pina coladas with vanilla ice cream, but they were too strong so we gave them to Sylvester, the cat… who then got a little tipsy. There was another year where we wanted to be at the club at midnight for the free champagne and festivities. We called a cab at like 11.00. Of course it was late and we ended up in the back of it at 12.oo. I remember because ‘Born to be Wild’ came on the radio and we both started spontaneously singing it.”

– Maeshelle West-Davies, UK/USA

4. Millennium fail

“It was the last day of 1999. South Florida. My grandmother, 79 years old then, was staying over. We couldn’t do much as a family because she couldn’t walk much anymore and my parents were exhausted from work. At age 15 and going through a difficult phase, I had very few friends and no one whose party I could go to. We went to two gatherings nearby and left them both as they were not fun for young people like me and my little brother. I spent midnight into the new millennium crying in front of the TV in our living room, watching as the rest of the world celebrated with big fireworks at major landmarks. Total fail!”

– Ana Ribeiro, Brazil/USA

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Here’s to a fun-filled, prosperous, lovely 2016!

Artist, curator and writer: maeshelle west-davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums.

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