A festive girls' night out in Milwaukee.
A festive girls' night out in Milwaukee.

Don't call it "amateur night"

The older I get, the more I seem to hear people refer to New Year's Eve as "amateur night." I'm not offended by this, but I'm perplexed and concerned about the lack of a celebratory spirit.

At what age do you simply not care that another year is passing? At what point is it just better to stay home and sleep than enjoy the company of loved ones?

I'm not saying everyone needs to be out at the bar, but there's also something to be said for the camaraderie of the holiday and celebrating a common transition.

I understand that there is a plethora of young drunk kids roaming the streets, but you are not forced to be one of them. I enjoy the passing of one year to the next and the idea of a fresh start.

My New Year's Eve included bar hopping, but it felt responsible and I'm not an amateur drinker. Well, at least I don't think I am.

To quote one of my favorite YouTube videos "I'm still young, but I'm not that young." My last night of 2012 and my introduction to 2013 was filled with good people, good venues, and was by no means obscene or filled with the pukescapades so often encountered in high school and college.

I started my morning with a half day at my job. I'm pro half days or, rather, any shortened work day – and it flew by quickly. Like the leave-it-to-the-last-minute person I am, I thought it brilliant to go to the mall after work. Big mistake. Everyone was off work and everyone was making holiday returns or looking for glitter. Learn from me, DO NOT go to the mall on New Year's Eve. My shopping trip turned into an all-day adventure that finally ended around 8 p.m.

A few of my girlfriends gathered at a friend's apartment to start our night with dinner and champagne. This was the perfect start as it helped us to conserve money we would have spent on dinner and drinks at a restaurant. The meal included little Italian sausage stuffed mushrooms, which seems complicated, but really, you can buy them that way – who knew? Our goal was to be out with the rest of th…