What Are You Planning for New Year's Eve? (Videos)

Dateless New Year's Eve Plans

New Year's schedule for girls without dates. Anyone up for some Extreme Jenga?

New Year's Eve Party with Drunks

There's nothing more amusing than drunk straight guys joking about being gay.

New Year's Eve in a Deli

Looks like the girls are trying to locate a more interesting group to spend their New Year's Eve with.

New Year's Eve in Vegas and Times Square (Videos)

New Years Eve Times Square 2007

A first person view of what it was like on New Years Eve in New York's Times Square, police, security checkpoints, crowd stampedes, cheers, the countdown and chaos.

Las Vegas New Year's Eve

Girls going wild on the Las Vegas Strip on New Year's Eve! They may be easy on the eyes, but they're not so easy on the ears!

The REAL New Year's Eve

What really happens in Times Square on December 31. It's not as glamorous as network television makes it appear. Beware the bodily fluids!

New Year's Eve 2005-2006

This footage was shot around New York, including Times Square, December 31, 2005-January 1, 2006. A strong argument for staying home and watching it instead of actually being there!

Motherhood and the Sense of Touch

When my son was a baby, I knew his body completely. I controlled everything that went into it and saw everything that came out of it. I carried him around until I couldn't lift him any more. I could watch him sleep for hours.

When he was older I sat with him every night singing, until one day he said to me, "Don't sing." At that point I switched to telling stories about my own childhood. As an only child he is fascinated by the concept of sibling rivalry, and that river runs deep for me. I used to rub his back or head as he lay there; now I'm lucky he still wants to hear an occasional story.

I can't say exactly when he started to pull away, when the inevitable barriers to touch went up, but it was years ago. Now, as a teenager, he doesn't want me to hug or kiss him, walk near him, or even brush away a crumb by his mouth. It's been hands off for a long time as we separate out into independent entities, joined not at the hip but at the heart. I still give him a goodnight kiss almost every night, but that's the extent of physical contact, and I accept that.

He and I just returned from a quick New Year's vacation visiting my mom in Puerto Rico. We had two long flights, both of which he spent sleeping soundly. Thanks to some crafty seat selection and early ticket purchasing, we were fortunate enough to have a row of three seats on our redeye from Los Angeles to San Juan. He got to lie down and I got to put my arm on his shoulder. It was my first opportunity in years to spend as much time as I wanted looking at him, and the closest I've been to holding him since he was much younger.

The huge transitions in the mother-son relationship over 14 years parallel enormous physical changes. His chin is fuzzy and his voice deep. His hands started as tiny fists, then became pudgy and are now larger than mine, with long slender fingers. He's trying to be bigger than I am in other ways too, and that's the way it should be. I embrace his changes. It's just rare that I get to embrace him any more.

Originally posted January 5, 2008

The Christmas Letter You Hope Never to Send

Dear Friends and Family,

Highlights of the year 2008 would have to include our trip to Clark, Wyoming to visit our cousins. They are fabulous hosts and have an eighty-acre “ranch” with the Rocky Mountains as a back drop. Our visit included our fourth trip to Yellowstone, a short drive to the west.

After visiting with them, we were able to fit in a long awaited trip to Iowa, fulfilling our goal to “see America first.” We have now visited every state in the union. We’ve also visited six provinces of Canada.

We joined an Elderhostel group at the 33rd Annual Glenn Miller Festival in Clarinda, Iowa and had three days of wall to wall Glenn Miller music played by bands from around the world, including an eighty piece all girl high school band from Japan.

Upon first arriving in Iowa we were surprised to see so many lakes. These lakes turned out ot be flooded farm fields. Do you remember reading abou the Iowa flood last June? We were there. An added bit of excitement was being rousted out of bed to take shelter on the first floor hall of the motel due to a tornado threat. Fortunately no tornado materialized.

In August we spent a very nice week on Mount Desert Island, Maine which includes Bar Harbor. At low tide we even walked the sand bar for which the town was named.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the many exciting hours watching our grandkids play volley ball, flag football, soccer, ice hockey, baseball, swimming, track and cross country. This is especially true when all we had to do is get to the game, watch and then go home. No practices, getting the kids ready, washing uniforms, etc., etc. Having grandkids is a great blessing!

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2009!

The 2008 Ugly Christmas Sweater...Winners? (Videos)

"Best Homemade Sweater"

Nothing mass-produced could match the hellishness of Bear Jesus ascending to heaven - with lights!

"Best Group"

They cared enough to wear the very...best.

"Best Party Invitation"

It's an invitation and a shopping guide all in one!

"Best College Edition"

This isn't the way I remember college parties, thank goodness.

Cringe-Inducing White House Christmas (Videos)

Symbolically, White House Tree Falls

A White House Christmas tree is toppled. Once the tree stood up, the coalition of the willing stood down. Keith Olbermann narrates a surreal scene in front of the White House.

Barney's Dreams of Glory

If only he could serve as the much-needed scape-dog for the previous eight years.

"The perfect theme for this year"? We're holding out for those special ornaments made out of sackcloth and ashes!

Getting to Know You - Over the Holidays

Seasonal advice from LoveHowTo.com.

Starting a new relationship is exciting but stressful regardless of the time of year. "Am I talking too much? Will he call again? Should I call him? Is he for real? How can I lose five pounds by our next date?" Factor in the holidays, though, and it takes the craziness to a whole new level.

Those beginning-of-relationship questions pale next to the seasonal: "Do I buy my new beau a gift? A card? How do I sign a card: 'Love'? 'Best wishes'? 'Here's hoping'? What if he doesn't get me anything? Will he bring up New Year's Eve, and if not should I? What's his take on the Ugly Christmas Sweater controversy?"

Yes, something that starts in December has a whole different feel from a first meeting in spring, summer or fall - or even in January. You're distracted at a time you want to be obsessed (probably a good thing). You're busy with family obligations, with shopping, wrapping, mailing, baking, getting cards out, travel plans...a million and one details that fill your mind as much as a potential new love otherwise might.

All these holiday activities remind you that you're not part of a couple but soon might be. This at a time of year that can make being alone a social stigma.

So don't overthink it. You shouldn't overthink any new relationship, but especially when there are added pressures. This time of year, schedules are out of whack and longstanding obligations overshadow potential plans with a near-stranger - and rightfully so. Relax. Focus on the holidays and your pre-existing relationships, with friends and family.

There's plenty of time to get obsessed later.

Parental Without Boundaries

A story contributed by W (no, not that one):

My Hellish Story goes back about 17 years. At the time I was dating a guy I went to high school with (it is long over). I was about 17 at the time, and I was having Christmas Eve dinner with his family, who followed the German tradition of Christmas Eve celebrations.

At the dinner, out of the blue, his mother turned to me and said that when she was my age, she had more assets than I did. She indicated her massive breasts, then her voluminous butt, and pointed out that it didn't look like I had childbearing hips!

My response? "Um... pass the potatoes?" I was horrified, and embarrassed and OMG what a horrible thing to say to a 17 year old.

OK maybe not as big as crime or a massive family fight, but it's awful...and yet funny at the same time!

Moving on Christmas Eve

Barbara Stanton has a wonderful husband these days, but still recalls this hellish Christmas memory. It goes well with some hellish Thanksgiving memories she was kind enough to share.

The first Christmas with my first husband was a huge warning of what was to come with that relationship. Before we were married my husband had been unemployed for a while and he owed lots of back rent. After we got together, I had been paying the rent on time, as well as an agreed-upon amount more to try and catch up with our debt to our landlady.

In November of that year she offered to forgive our debt if we moved out of the apartment because she was planning on renovating.

To make a long story short, we ended up moving on Christmas Eve. I had a three-month-old baby with colic who wouldn't let me put him down. I also had laryngitis with a fever and couldn't speak above a whisper. My mom saved my life that day by showing up before my husband became violent because he was angry at me for being sick and holding the screaming baby. She packed up my kitchen and unpacked it in our new home.

We only had a car to move large furniture and had no idea how we were going to do that until friends stopped by to say "Merry Christmas" in their pickup and we begged them to help.

Needless to say we didn't bother decorating that year because EVERYTHING was in boxes.

Without Reservations

Joseph LaMountain of SparkLight Communications in Alexandria, VA can laugh now about holiday travels, but he wasn't laughing 15 years ago when he took off without reservations. Playing it by ear is not for the squeamish!

Before we were married, my wife and I took our first European vacation over the Christmas holidays. We had little money, and didn't plan very well, but figured that with our names (I'm Joseph and my wife is Mary), could smooth over any potential problems.

On Christmas eve, we departed Geneva, Switzerland we entered Italy's pristine Val D'Aosta region. Absolutely nothing was open. Starving, we pleaded with a local restaurateur to feed us in the late afternoon. He declined even though we could see the place was full of locals enjoying the day. We eventually found a small convenience store that was open and we stocked up on bread, fruit, cheese and water.

Looking for lodging was even more treacherous. We made it to Turin, but nothing was open except a small place near the train station. After a short tour, we realized that it was THE place in town where ladies of ill repute entertained their clients. Other hotels were full and despite our pleading ("Giuseppe et Maria!!"), we had no luck. And then I developed a raging sore throat.

We soldiered on, eventually finding a hotel off the highway in the town of Novara, Italy. I plopped on the bed and consulted my travel guide; Novara's claim to fame is that it is Italy's largest producer of cement. On Christmas Day, through a driving snowstorm in the Appenine Mountains, we made it to the small port town of Portovenere where, the next day, we proceeded to eat a huge meal and drink too much wine.

It was awful at the time, but fifteen years later we can look back on it and laugh.

Hellish and Hard to Find the Humor

Two anonymous contributions (from two different women with excellent memories) perfectly capture the hellishness that can be the holiday season.

1. My Dad was an undertaker in a small town in Northern Minnesota, Hibbing. Whenever someone died, if there was no investigation into the death, they called the mortician to come pick up the body. I think my worst Christmas was one Christmas night, when all 12 in my family were sitting around at my parents' house, and my Dad got a call about a head-on collision on the highway. For some reason, all the guys decided it would be cool to help my Dad go pick up the bodies.

The entire house cleared out except for the girls. They were gone for hours. They came back somber and depressed and the night was ruined. They talked about body parts strewn on the highway for blocks, about picking up parts of people and then those parts disintegrating.

Was there any redeeming quality to the evening? Well, we did get to feel superior to those who couldn't help as they were too busy throwing up on the side of the highway!

2. One Christmas Eve I was newly pregnant and desperately sick (not just morning sickness - it went on all day). My husband and I were invited to my sister-in-law's house for dinner and presents. We got there and they wanted to open gifts first, which dragged on for hours. Finally sometime around 8pm or so, we find out that they didn't cook dinner - that we are going out. To make things worse, there were no plans for a place to go, so we drove around and found a Chinese Food place that was open.

I hadn't eaten in hours so I was already really nauseated. The smell in the Chinese restaurant almost sent me over the edge. The worst part was that no one (except my husband) seemed the slightest bit concerned. Needless to say, that was the last Christmas Eve we spent with them.

Christmas Gets the Boot

Stephen Bell of CSHS in the U.K. submits this hellish story on behalf of his son, Matthieu. It happened a few years back and is adorably British.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin...

On Saturday 14th December, the Microsoft Christmas Ball in the Roundhouse, London, was well underway and I was resplendent in my new Dinner Jacket - all very James Bond etc., until my car was clamped outside our hotel and my dinner jacket went mysteriously missing at the Ball along with £100 in cash that I had for taxis, emergencies etc.

Sunday saw my car unclamped after a lengthy discussion with London officials and I spent the next six hours on the motorways of England dropping various friends home in Surrey and Berkshire before heading to Bristol to a dinner party.

On Monday morning, the rear of my car was totalled by a speeding Transit van who decided not to stop at the red light where I was already stopped. This happened at 10:30am and it was not until 4pm that I was actually picked up by a Recovery truck due to the insurance company, the Royal Automobile Club and the garage where the car will be repaired, arguing over who should come and get me.

So I killed time by doing all my Christmas shopping. When I finally arrived back in Reading and picked up the hire car, I could not be bothered to lug several bags of Christmas presents up three flights of stairs after the day I had had, so I locked it all in the boot.

On Tuesday morning I drove to my little village railway station and parked the hire car right under the CCTV camera. I went to a big important customer in London for the day and was invited to their Christmas Party. To cut a long story short, at 4am I was in the spare room of one of their IT Managers somewhere in Pinner.

At 11am Wednesday morning, I returned to Pangbourne railway station to find the hire car (only 450 miles on the clock) with no windows or wheels. The glove box was open (there went more cash and my 50 favourite CDs) as was the boot (several hundred pounds worth of Christmas presents). Bugger!

By Wednesday night I was in bed with a horrible throat virus and there I stayed until Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning I headed into town and put my switch card into the ATM - it promptly swallowed it. To cut another long story short, Halifax Bank Head Office had suspended my account (at that time over £10,000 in credit due to my selling my house) because of a £5 non-payment on my Halifax credit card. However, rather than calling me to ask would I like to pay this, they suspend the account THE SATURDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS AND NOTIFIED ME BY MAIL!

Today, the BMW is just back and Halifax are working to unravel the mess. However, I will have no cash card or cheque book (it was in the car) until the New Year and have no Christmas presents. Oh, and the insurance company have said that I am not covered for any loss of personal goods!

Christmas Lights and Decorations (Videos)

Chipmunks Animated Christmas Lights

Okay, now you can't deny these lights are incredible, but The Chipmunks really are Hellish. Dig those hula hoops, though.

The Pulsing House

I hope they purchased blackout shades for the neighbors across the street.

Wizards In Winter Animated Christmas Lights

Here's someone who went all out on his Christmas lights this year. While I think they're far from Hellish, I'm also glad I don't live next door.

CSnowman Attack Caught on Camera

Don't try this at ANYONE's home: two men have been arrested and charged for assault on a snowman.

Sleigh Ride - Barenaked Ladies Animated

Great tune, funny rendition, incredible lights...what could be Hellish about that? Try living next door!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: It's Always the Season (Videos)

Tis the season! Check out our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Guide here.

Ugly Sweater Rap

Like it says, a rap about ugly sweaters. Is nothing sacred?

Drunk and Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Drunken dance at a theme Christmas party: When the Christmas Sweaters go on, the inhibitions drop away.

S'More Christmas Sweaters

About the video: Marshmallows, Ugly Sweaters, and Karaoke. What more is there to life?

Christmas Sweater Party with Live Music