New Years Eve is one of the most stressful events of the year. We agonize about things like what party will be the hottest and what outfit will be the sparkliest. But for many people, the greatest stressor of the evening is the midnight kiss.
We laugh off stories of spells being broken at the stroke of midnight, falling rose petals that determine the fate of love, and kisses that raise women from a lifeless slumber. And yet, it seems to me that we have unwittingly bought into a modern day fairytale, anxiously anticipating the reality of magic on New Year's Eve—if we could just kiss that prince or frog, if need be.
The truth is, the midnight kiss originated as part of a rather debaucherous ancient Roman celebration and later adapted by the English and German into a classier New Year's Eve ritual. Tradition holds that kissing the first person you encounter at the stroke of midnight will strengthen the bonds of your relationship in the new year.
Regardless of whether we believe the superstitious implications of the kiss at midnight or not, the dread of being left unsmooched at midnight seems to have been ingrained in us since birth.
Many of us take to the internet for advice on how to prepare for this anticipated hour, but the advice we receive leaves us more anxious than ever. Some tell us to compensate for our insecurity at midnight by wearing the shortest skirt we own, or urge us to pick out the cutest man at the party and then ambush him at midnight. Not comfortable with a casual kiss? Other well intentioned advisors submit that snobbery is the best policy—share an eye roll with a friend, check into social media, or perfect the art of an irish goodbye.
But midnight on New Year's Eve doesn't need to be spent in angst, snobbery, or hiding. Instead, let the true spirit of the tradition be your guide and behave in a way that will set a positive tone to your relationships in the new year.
Here are 4 ways you can set the new year off right without having to lock lips with a frog:
1. Raise a glass.
2. Hug a friend.
3. Cheer and smile.
4. Go for the cheek.
( GIFs via giphy.com)