It’d be easy to see them as post-Christmas Scrooges.
On the other hand, people who shun parties and shut themselves inside their houses on New Year’s Eve can wear sweatpants to dinner, eat what they want, drink without needing to designate a driver, and be hugging their pillows 10 minutes after kissing their loved ones at midnight.
And tradition? Meh.
“We’re not really into the whole black-eyed peas, collard greens, pork thing,” said LeAnn Harriss, 43, of Gastonia when asked what she and husband Rob are planning for their New Year’s feast. “Our version of pork might be chili dogs.”
“We splurged and got DiGiorno pizzas at the grocery store,” she said, “so we might be really living it up.”
Although there’s no telling how many people will go out to dinners, parties or major events this New Year’s Eve and how many will not, there is some evidence that avoiding crowds is a popular choice.
A recent survey released by toy and board game company Hasbro found that 75 percent of Americans will greet 2013 at home. A survey by U.K. supermarket chain Morrisons revealed that 83 percent of Britons would do the same.
So maybe Pam Lilley and Mac Sawyer of Cornelius aren’t being antisocial but, rather, trendy. The couple plans to do fondue with their 2-year-old son, Phin, and Pam’s daughter, Parker, 11. In the past, they’ve dunked cheese, meats, veggies and chocolates with neighbors, but this year it’ll just be them.
“There’s nothing more comfortable than being in my own pajamas in my own home, then, as soon as midnight comes around, nodding off to sleep,” said Lilley, a school librarian. “Having to worry about parking, babysitters, the expense of it, being out in the cold … it’s not comfortable.”
Plus, she said, “we’ve socialized on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day; we’re socialized out.”
Sue Falco of Matthews agreed.
“We’ve been entertaining the entire holiday (season), so this is our time to be quiet,” said the portrait photographer, who plans to hole up in the living room with husband John and daughters Mia, 8, and Ava, 6, Monday night. “Don’t tell our best friends that. … Every year we celebrate with our neighborhood friends, and this year, we’re just – we’re tired.”
Still, the Falcos do plan to stay up past midnight.
For the Mungers of Davidson, it could be an early night.
“I will be staying home with my wife, and we’ll probably just watch a movie or something,” said Dave Munger, 45. “In the past, we’ve done something cool like cook a lobster, but we don’t usually make a big deal of staying up until midnight.”
“Very likely I won’t even be up at midnight.”
LeAnn Harriss said the agenda at her house will include catching a college bowl game and, later, Ryan Seacrest in Times Square. What has kept her home for many a New Year’s Eve is the memory of an alcohol-related wreck that paralyzed her brother more than a decade ago.
“It’s always in my mind somewhere that there is some ding-dong drinking too much and getting behind the wheel,” Harriss said.