3700 N. Halsted St. #2-S Chicago, IL 60613 773.975.0264 Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com EDITORIAL Mike Macharello: Production Rick Karlin: Editor layout & design Titanium Graphics, Inc. advertising Freddie: freddie@boiMAGazineChicago.com Dave: dave@boiMAGazineChicago.com National, Rivendell Media: firstname.lastname@example.org photographerS Oliver Aguilar Eamonn Sexton Ken Brown, KAB Photography COVER Models: Luis Ascencio & William Melnyczenko Photographer: Iggy Munoz, Candymoon Photography editorial contributors Gregg Shapiro, Ace Magyar, Sue Deaunym, Anita Taylor, boiMAG ONLINE
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In the U.S., we all welcome the new year with enthusiasm, celebrating with fireworks and parades, carousing and toasts. Some cultures, though, have more unusual ways of ushering in the New Year. In many countries, there’s a shared belief that specific actions taken on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, or at the stroke of midnight, can influence the fate of the year to come. In the Philippines, for example, wearing polka dots and eating round fruits is supposed to ensure prosperity; in Spain, wolfing down grapes as the clock strikes midnight is thought to do the same. Some customs are about driving away the bad spirits of the past year. Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year’s Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. The Chinese use fireworks to spectacular effect in their New Year’s celebrations. The purifying power of fire is often used in such ceremonies: the Scottish festival of Hogmanay, for instance, features parades of village men swing giant blazing fireballs over their heads as they march through the streets. Other bad-spirit-banishing customs are less fiery and more fun, such as the Danish tradition of jumping off chairs at midnight. In Ireland they pound on the doors and windows of the house with bread to chase out evil spirits and ensure bread for the upcoming year. It is also a time to do away with the old and welcome the new. In the Netherlands, the Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks as a symbol of purging the old and welcoming the new. (It also seems a good way to make certain that people still don’t have their Christmas decorations up until spring.) New Year’s Day is all about “firsts” and in many cultures; “the first” is a significant event. First-footing is an ancient European New Year’s custom that continues in many areas. The first person to enter a home after midnight on the first day of the year
by Rick Karlin usually brings a simple gift; such as a coin (symbolizing prosperity), bread or food (for a plentiful harvest) or whiskey (to represent good cheer.) The first-footer can be a resident of the house, but must not be inside during the hour leading up to midnight. Many people dress up on New Year’s Eve. If not quite black tie and evening gowns, then at least “party clothes.” But what about underwear? In São Paulo, La Paz, and other parts of South America, people don brightly colored underpants to ring in the New Year. The traditions dictate red if they’re looking for love, and yellow for money. Singing “Auld Lang Syne” the lyrics to which can be traced to a poem translated and adapted from an ancient Scottish song by poet Robert Burns in 1796. However, it was bandleader Guy Lombardo, who popularized the song, turning it into a New Year’s tradition, when his famous dance band, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, played the song at midnight at a New Year’s Eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929. After that, Lombardo’s version of the song was played every New Year’s Eve from the 1930s until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria. Even the seemingly American tradition of the New Year’s baby (a favorite costume for well-built young men), dates back to ancient Greece. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.
Early Christians, the wet blankets of history, tried to denounce the practice as pagan, but the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus. The use of an image of a baby with a New Year’s banner was brought to America by early German settlers who had used the image for hundreds of years. Continued on next page >>
The dropping of the ball at midnight in Times Square dates back to 1904. The New York Times had relocated to what was then known as Longacre Square. The publishers convinced the city to rename the neighborhood in its honor and threw an annual New Year’s Eve party with an elaborate fireworks display. When the city banned the fireworks in 1907, the newspaper commissioned an electrician to devise a wood-and-iron ball illuminated with 100 light bulbs that was dropped from a flagpole at midnight. Lowered almost every year since then, the iconic orb has undergone several upgrades over the decades and now weighs in at nearly 12,000lbs.
“Auld Lang Syne” is often called “the most popular song that no one knows the words to.” Forget about ending that sentence in a preposition and amaze your friends by learning the lyrics to this traditional song. Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne ? CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. And surely you’ll buy your pint cup ! and surely I’ll buy mine ! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
In more recent years, various towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items ranging from pickles in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania to a giant peach in Atlanta. Among other items dropped are; gumbo pots, guitars, olives, Moon Pies and even a giant tortilla chip. The most outrageous drop may be in Key West where, for more than a decade, locals have cheered outside a bar on Duval Street where a drag queen named Sushi seated in a red ruby high-heeled shoe is lowered from the balcony. No matter what we do though, the new year signifies hope for a new beginning, a chance to shrug off the worries, conflicts, and mistakes of the past and start anew.
. . . “CHORUS” We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine ; But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne. . . . “CHORUS” We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine; But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne. . . . “CHORUS” And there’s a hand my trusty friend ! And give me a hand o’ thine ! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.
Getting Ready for NYe
Once you’ve decided were to go, the second most important decision is what to wear for the big night out. We checked with two of Boystown’s most popular retailers for some suggestions. You’ll looking fabulous as the clock strikes twelve if you’re wearing one of these items..
From CRAM FASHIONS Ring in the new year with this great slim fit button up from Antony Morato. Lucky polka dots on this great slim fit button up poplin cotton dyed long-sleeved shirt from Antony Morato.. The metal logo-ed tag is Antony Morato’s style signature, $95.
Tie one on this New Year’s Eve with a bow tie. Whether you go for the white tie with sequins or the polkadots (remember, good luck in the Philippines, or perhaps with a Pilipino) you’ll look snappy for that midnight toast. You’ll know exactly when to raise your glass if you’re wearing one of these swell watches from Cram on New Year’s Eve. continued on following page >>
Getting Ready for NYe
From EGOIST UNDERWEAR In many South American countries wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is said to bring love in the coming year. The gentleman wearing these Aussiebum WJPRO boxer briefs with enhancing pouch (available at Egoist for $$32.29) should have no problem finding willing partners.
Wearing yellow underwear is supposed to bring wealth in the coming year. My money’s on the man wearing Cocksox CX21 jock with an enhancing pouch! Only $22.09.
If you’re lucky enough to ring in the new year in a warm climate, this Aussiebum bathing suit’s futuristic design fuses classic color combinations with an ultracomfy microfiber. Made from the best Italian fabric, this futuristic design fuses classic color combinations with the ultracomfy short. $64.59.
Okay, they’re not the polka dots favored for New Year’s Eve wear in the Philippines, but these Ginch Gonch hardball briefs features a print of little balls (and holds a set of big ones), so close enough. The soft four-way stretch microfiber blend. $23.99.
Winter Party, Miami One of the world’s hottest destinations, Miami Beach, Florida hosts the annual Winter Party Festival drawing more than 10,000 people from around the world for the annual six-day extravaganza. Launched in 1994 as a one-time charity dance event, Winter Party Festival has evolved into a week-long series of events benefiting the GLBT community. A portion of the net proceeds from WPF support the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s efforts. The majority of the proceeds are donated to local service organizations through a grant-making process administered by The Miami Foundation.
The party kicks off on Wednesday, March 5, with “Spark!” as the South Florida community rolls out the red carpet with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and raffle prizes. That event is followed by an after party. The following night, Thursday, March 6, the kick-off event for HER Winter Party, “ArtScape” at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, includes a silent art auction, featuring the work of a variety of local artists. Admission includes an open bar for selected cocktails, wine and hors d’oeuvres. Later that evening everyone heads over to the main dance party, “Ignite.” Friday, March 7, kicks off with a Lincoln Road shopping event, allowing folks to pick up something fabulous to wear to
“Pa’Ella,” the weekend’s signature Latin event. That is followed by the “Mercury Rising” party. On Saturday, March 8, things really heat up at the “Under One Sun” pool party at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand Resort South Beach (the host hotel for WPF), where DJ Seth Cooper will make a splash before Brazil’s DJ Gustavo Scorpio gets things so hot you’ll need the pool to cool you off! After a brief disco-nap, everyone heads over to a VIP cocktail reception (‘cause everyone at WPF is a VIP.) Then the group splits up; the men head over to “Sweat” the weekend’s leather dance party, while the women attend “Industry.” “Flare” is the late night event that brings folks back together at the new Score location on Washington Avenue. You might expect things to slow down on Sunday, March 9, but you’d be wrong. Everyone; beach boys, muscle boys, divas and everything in between, refuels at “Brunchic” at Palace Bar on Ocean Drive. Then they head over to Lummus Park on 12th Street and Ocean Drive for the weekend’s beach party, where Italy’s Danny Verde makes his U.S. daytime party debut. After they brush off the sand, everyone heads to tea dance at Palace Bar. Everything reaches a “Boiling Point” as Miami’s legendary Mansion nightclub is transformed into an airport unlike any you’ve ever seen. The evening morphs into “Afterglow,” which runs from 5 a.m. until noon on Monday, leaving plenty of time to catch that flight home. The most economical way to attend WPF is by purchasing a multi-event passes. Discounted prices are available through January 13 (while supplies last.) For more information on tickets and events, go to winterparty.com. If the ticket price put things beyond your budget, you can offer to volunteer for the event. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Rick Karlin s HOLIDAY edition New Year’s Eve is all about splurging, right? Well, let’s start off with some options that are most definitely in the high end category. All prices are per person and do not include tax or tip, unless otherwise noted.
menu features such luxurious delicacies as scallops with lobster broth, oysters, lobster, caviar, shrimp and filet mignon, among other options, including a vegetarian menu. Call 847.864.3435 or visit oceanique.com for reservations.
L20 is offering an eight-course seafood menu for $195. For those wishing to add caviar to their experience, varieties will be offered in half-ounce and one-ounce portions as a supplement. For reservations, call 773.868.0002 or e-mail L2Oparties@ leye.com.
Kit Kat goes “Glitz and Glam” with a 7 p.m. four course prix fixe menu and bottle of champagne for $65. The late dinner seating, at 9:30 p.m., features a four course prix fixe menu, bottle of champagne and one martini per person for $85. Both events offer a choice of starters, a choice of a pair of salads and five entrée options ranging from surf and turf to stuffed acorn squash, followed by a choice of one of three desserts. Reservations are recommended, call 773.525.1111.
The Peninsula hosts a black tie gala. It begins with a welcome reception from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., followed by a seven-course dinner. After dinner, dancing to a 12-piece big band performing in The Lobby leads up to a midnight balloon drop and midnight toast. Cost is $305, $385 with wine pairings. Tru offers two seatings. The earlier seating, beginning at 5 p.m. is a six-course menu for $165. The later seating, beginning at 8:30 p.m., includes an eight-course menu for $275. A midnight Champagne toast is included in the later seating. For reservations call 312.202.0001 ext. 230.
On New Year’s Eve, finding option for anything less than $100 a person is hard to do. I’ve dug up a few and some are downright bargains. Considering that it’s New Year’s Eve, the deal at Oceanique is an absolute steal at only $99 for a five-course prix fixe served from 5:30-11 p.m. The
Waterleaf in Glen Ellyn, is offering two seatings; the first, between 6 and 8:30 p.m. features a $60 prix fixe dinner, the second seating, beginning at 9 p.m. is $95. Both meals feature three course, plus and amuse and intermezzo. Call 630.942.6881 or go to waterleafrestaurant.com. The Boarding House will have two prix fixe dinner seatings at the restaurant and a “Bubble Bash” in the first floor wine bar. Reservations are required, call 312.280.0720. Takashi is serving a seven-course dinner between 5-7 p.m. for $90, with an optional wine pairing for $45. The nine-course tasting menu, served between 7 p.m. and midnight, with toast at midnight for $110, with an optional wine pairing for $60. To make reservations, call 773.772.6170 or go to takashichicago.com. continued on next page >> boiMAG 21
Celebrate the New Year with pizza and prosecco at Pizzeria Via Stato. A buffet of pizzas with both artisanal and classic toppings will be offered beginning at 9:30 p.m. The $60 price includes unlimited pizza and six tickets for select prosecco, Italian wine and craft beers, as well as a toast at midnight. To make your reservation, call 312.642.8450. Moonshine turns back to the clock to the Roaring ‘20s, for its Bootlegger’s Ball! An open bar from 8 p.m. to just past midnight will feature classic Roaring ‘20s cocktails and craft beers and a midnight toast. The dinner buffet will include a carving station and hearty, American fare. Party favors and dancing round out the night. Revelers are encouraged to dress in Roaring ‘20s garb. Tickets are $85. Reduced group pricing is available, call 773.862.8686 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Ada Street restaurant offers up “Vinyl & Victuals”, including vintage music and a choice of $80 animal or $60 vegetable six-course prix fixe menus. For an additional $75 guest may add a Champagne and oyster course, featuring 12 oysters and a half-bottle of Delamotte. Seatings will be available throughout the night. For reservations, e-mail the chef at email@example.com. Roots Pizza will feature five-hours of premium bar drinks, buffet, midnight toast, party favors, and a DJ beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 and must be purchased in advance at RootsNYE2014.eventbrite.com.
Have a bacon-filled end to 2013 at County Barbeque with an oldfashioned pig roast. Indulge in all you can eat pork, bacon and eggs, brisket and debris. An open bar with American whiskey, spirits and craft beers is included in the $60 cost. Reservations can be made by calling 312.929.2528. Bar Pastoral offers two options; the early dinner seating is $60, $90 with wine pairings. The later affair is a cocktail party, beginning at 10 p.m. which includes an open bar and hors d’oeuvres and cheeses, followed by a midnight toast and dessert bar for $120. For tickets, go to barpastoral.com or call 773.472.4781. At mk, a four-course dinner is available at either of two seatings; between 5:30-7:30 p.m. for $90 or after 8:30 p.m. for $125, which includes a midnight Champagne toast. Wine pairings are also available for both seatings for an additional $50. For reservations call 312.482.9179. The Hearty Boys are closing their restaurant after New Year’s Day. For their last evening, ring out the year, at one of three seatings, featuring the regular menu and a screening of The Poseidon Adventure (which takes place on NYE, in case you forgot.) They’ll be open for brunch on New Year’s Day and then will close to re-open under a new concept, with fellow celebrity chef Gale Gand. Call 773.244.9866 for reservations and more information. DMK Burger Bar celebrates the greatest hits of 2013 by serving up slider portions of its most popular burgers of the year along with in tater tots, fries and boozy shakes. A secret midnight burger will be revealed just in time for the ball drop. The evening also features an open bar and dancing. The evening is $75 at the Lakeview location, $50 in Lombard. Call 773.360.8686 for Lakeview reservations, 630.705.9020 for Lombard.
By Gregg Shapiro The exhilaration and exuberance of Icona Pop’s debut full-length “This Is…“ begins to wear thin after only the first few tracks. That’s disappointing because the young Swedish duo’s breakthrough hit “I Love It” was the kind of lightweight summer anthem that could extend its lifespan into other seasons. There’s a monotony on songs such as “All Night,” “We Got The World” and “Ready For The Weekend.” There are a few exceptions, including “In The Stars,” “Light Me Up” and “Just Another Night.”
Finalists on “X-Factor”, the trio Emblem3 (who don’t look too bad shirtless!) have nothing new to say and no new way to say it on their unfortunately titled debut album “Nothing To Lose “. Ever wondered what it would sound like if white boys from the Pacific Northwest rapped? . Mariah Carey better watch her ass, because Ariana Grande has her sights set on it. In fact, on her debut album “Yours Truly” But there’s definitely more to Grande than her spot-on conjuring of a predecessor. Grande brings the drama in her own way on the duet “Almost Is Never Enough” (with The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes), the pop confection “Piano” and a sweet remake of Mika’s “The Popular Song,” featuring the out singer/songwriter himself.
Attention spans being what they are, it was brave of Janelle Monae to take three years to release her second album “The Electric Lady”. Dismal cover aside, what an electrifying second album it is. As with its predecessor, which featured guest appearances by Of Montreal and Big Boi (among others), The Electric Lady’s guest roster includes Prince, Erykah Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esparanza Spalding. Where her previous disc musically timetraveled, “The Electric Lady” feels more firmly grounded in the recent past and the approaching future. Current and cool tracks include the title cut, “Q.U.E.E.N.,” “Primetime,” “We Were Rock & Roll,” “Dance Apocalyptic,” the wondrous Stevie Wonder-influenced “Ghetto Woman” and “Dorothy Dandridge Eyes.” In a year of fascinating debuts, sister trio Haim (Danielle, Alana and Este) is close to the top of the list. Effortlessly channeling influences such as Florence + The Machine and Feist (not to mention vintage Liz Phair and Eagles) with strong echoes of `80s dance pop (dig those programmed drum/synth beats), Haim is proof positive that sisterhood is powerful. Lead vocalist Danielle’s appealing style is as timeless as the songs she sings. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to “Falling,” “The Wire,” “Honey & I” and “Running If You Call My Name,” 10 years from now. Also, no dance mixtape will be complete without “Forever,” “If I Could Change Your Mind,” “Don’t Save Me” and the title track. If you found yourself wondering what a New Zealand Lana Del Rey (minus the attitude) would sound like, look no further than the debut full-length “Pure Heroine” by Lorde (aka Ella Yelich-O’Connor). The definition of a teen sensation if there ever was one, Lorde is a modern pop goddess, poised somewhere between blasé and blazing. Lorde makes you wish that she’d ask you to hang out with her so you can see the inspirations for her titillating tunes such as “Royals,” “Tennis Court,” “Ribs,” “Buzzcut Season” and “A World Alone.” Call her “queen bee” and enjoy her sting. boiMAG 25
in the know ... ON THE GO! By Sue Deaunym Rumor Has It So I hear that the space formerly occupied by T’s will reopen as an upscale Mexican eatery under the direction of the folks from SoFo Tap... Frankie Knuckles birthday bash at Smart Bar on Sunday, Jan. 19 will feature a live performance by Inaya Day… Celebrate the New Year early at “Snow Ball,” as Clubhouse/URBANO and Rails brings their party back to Sanctuary on Sunday, Dec. 29… Speaking of early New Year’s Eve parties, if you desire entry to the night of wine and cheese at Joie de Vine on Saturday, Dec. 28, you’d better be in costume, cause it’s no mask, no entry… There’s more early NYE fun as Neverland presents its second annual White Party, this time titled, “The Purity Ball”. It’s so sweet that those guys think they can pull off purity. They’re about as pure as the driven sludge. It will be fun to watch them give it a go at Hydrate on Sunday, Dec. 29, when DJ Alain Jackinsky makes his Chicago debut. The guest hosts are Cole and Hunter Maverick and NYC club kid Ryan Burke. The night kicks off with “Drag Carnage” and continues until the wee hours with lasers, LED decorations, high-performance lighting and fierce late-night performances. National News Boo hoo the fuckin’ hoo! Phil Robertson, of ‘Duck Dynasty’, feels as if he is being oppressed because he was suspended from the show after making anti-gay statements in an interview with GQ magazine. First of all, WTF is GQ doing interviewing the idiots from this show? Are they suddenly fashion icons? Are we all supposed to grow
pubic hair beards and wear camo? Ugh! Of course, right-wing nut job Sarah Palin had to chime in, saying, “Free speech is an endangered species.” Sarah, I know you’re not very bright, but free speech does not mean speech without consequences…. Speaking of not very bright people; Johnny Weir has apologized for calling gay rights activists idiots. A group of GLBT activists was protesting his decision to attend the Olympics in Russia as a commentator for NBC... Newly out British Olympic diver Tom Daley is dating Hollywood screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Daley previously announced in a YouTube clip that he’s in love with another man, though he did not reveal the man’s name. My sources report that they met at a party and Daley made the first move. Daley has told friends, “It happened so quickly. I was completely overwhelmed by it... I’ve never had it before where I love someone and they love me just as much.” Oh, Tommy, you didn’t give me (or thousands of others) a chance! Local News Transgender big wig Jennifer N. Pritzker will chair the Equality Illinois 2014 gala. . In making the announcement, Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said, “She is a courageous role model who, as a transgender woman, has committed herself to continued service. We are so proud that Col. Pritzker has agreed to chair the biggest LGBT gala in the Midwest,” …The Center on Halsted was awarded a three-year grant of $45,000 from the Comcast Foundation. The funds from the grant will be used to support the COH Cyber Center, which offers free Internet access for visitors, along with classes. Perhaps now the printer will finally work.
continued on following page >>
in the know ... ON THE GO, NYE! NYE Round-Up Sidetrack invites you to “Unlock Your Future” in a benefit party for Equality Illinois, with Circuit Mom as hostess. It’s $25 to get in and you’ll get noisemakers, a toast at midnight and they guarantee that you’ll get lei’d! There will be fabulous door prizes courtesy of Orbitz. This party is always a sell-out, so buy your tickets in advance from a bartender or at Sidetrack’s web site. Hydrate’s New Year’s Eve is one royal occasion, with Chicago’s very own royal divas, reigning Ms. Continental Naysha Lopez and Farra N. Hyte leading the party to the beats of DJ Laura B. General admission tickets are $50 and include, food and drinks, a midnight toast and party favors. VIP tix are $10 more and add priority entrance, in/out privileges and coat check. Circuit’s NYE party is being hosted by Paola Bracho and Miss Foozie (starring in “The Odd Couple”) and features DJ Alex Q and DJ Flip. Tickets are available in advance (only $10 with your Circuit membership) $15 otherwise, Advance and VIP tickets are available at Circuit and on their website. Touché’s “Black & Blue Bash” party is $10 and includes a buffet, party favors, a midnight toast and a free drink to get you primed. Tickets are available in advance. Ring in 2014 like a star! Hamburger Mary’s party has a Hollywood theme, so get dolled up for your red carpet experience and enjoy Big Red and her band and an appetizer buffet. Upstairs
in Mary’s Attic they’ll be dancing the night away. The $15 ticket includes a midnight toast, coat check and a midnight balloon drop with cash and prizes. Big Chicks brags that it’s got “no cover, no attitude, no VIP lines--just straight up non-pretentious good times”. Minibar keeps it stylish with a “Champagne and Caviar Ball.” The $99 ticket includes dinner and top shelf beverages, caviar, party favors and entertainment. Roscoe’s will give you hors d’oeuvres, gift bags and champagne for $25. An extra $50 gets you the “VIP” treatment, which is basically cutting in line, free coat check and cocktails. Phoenix Bar holds a “Fire & Ice” themed party will feature go-go dancers, a $500 balloon drop and a midnight toast, it’s a $20 cover at the door. @mosphere will have hot male dancers, free champagne toast, party favors, great music and no cover. Not certain if no cover means at the door or on the dancers, but either way., it’s all good…. Berlin has DJs Greg Haus, Larissa and Pete Augusta. It’s only a $5 cover before 10 p.m. and there’ll be champagne specials all night. Finally, violent crime is up, especially Lakeview, so much that it is second only to the Lawndale neighborhood in the number of attacks. Please note that the folks who come to the neighborhood looking for crimes of opportunity will be out in full force on NYE looking for people carrying greater sums of cash. Have a plan going home & be careful!
... ADVICE, ringing in a new year
New Year’s Eve is a time of partying, of celebrating accomplishments made in the past year, and for making toasts and resolutions for the upcoming one. However, New Year’s Eve can also be a sad time. Some people may not have achieved their resolutions from the previous New Year’s Eve, the year might not have been a good one for a variety of reasons, or they may not be in a relationship, on a holiday when having someone with which to ring in the new year is expected. Add to that the stress of having just spent the Christmas holidays with family and you have a perfect storm for depression. If you, like many others, are fighting a battle with depression this New Year’s, the most important thing anyone can do is to tell someone. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you don’t have people with whom you can share the new year, look for support groups in your community. Many community organizations offer companionship and support during holidays. You might also try volunteering for a specific function or gathering in your community. Being with people and keeping busy can help fight depression. There are other steps to help alleviate depression about the occasion. Sometimes it helps to make a list of the good experiences and the accomplishments you’ve had during the past year. Actually writing down the good things about the year can help put the negative aspects in perspective. Are you feeling depressed because you are pondering a year of disappointments? Are there resolutions you feel that you have
failed to complete? Give yourself another chance. Write a brief list of the things that you think you can do in the coming year to remedy the problems identified. The best kind of forgiveness is self-forgiveness and this is the perfect time of year for it. Again, look at this in a positive light (sometimes easier said than done). Once you start, you’ll be surprised at how it can begin to lift the cloud of depression. If you don’t have plans, or don’t want to be out on New Year’s Eve, see if you can get one or two friends together for a quiet evening at home. Again, the goal is a positive attitude, so don’t surround yourself with a bunch of Debbie Downers. Begin a New Year’s Eve ritual. Something as simple as reviewing the list of positive experiences from the year before and saying aloud some of your goals for the coming year while you light a candle at midnight, can be very empowering. Physically rid yourself of the past year’s regrets. Write them down, tear them up, and throw them away or burn them. Write this coming year’s resolutions and place them somewhere prominent to remind you of what’s to come, rather than what has been. Sit quietly in a favorite spot for a few minutes to contemplate your future direction and perhaps say, chant, or call out your resolutions to the sky, to God, to the world, to the universe, to whomever or whatever you wish to hear your soulful request. Start off the new year with a smile. Do something that makes you happy. Whip up your favorite meal, listen to your favorite song, watch a great movie, and things of that nature. Look to what makes you feel happy and indulge yourself. Rather than dwelling on past mistakes, look at the first day of the new year as a chance to begin again, use the opportunity as fresh start.
Ace Magyar has a BA in communications, a MA in sex therapy and a PHD in zoology. He is a registered couple’s counselor specializing in the GLBT community. Send your questions to ASK ACE at firstname.lastname@example.org