Consider this your personal invitation to join my family next New Year's Eve chez mes parents, in the basement, where we have our Annual New Year's Eve Karaoke Extravaganza. Sometimes when people ask what my plans are for New Year's Eve, I am a little embarrassed to tell them that I am going to my parents' house to karaoke. But, hand on heart, it is a wonderfully good time.
Seriously, you are welcome to join our soiree this year. But there are probably some things about our New Year's celebration that you should know. Particularly if you are a girl (we don't so much make the boys do all of these things). There are some rules you'll need to follow.
Rule #1: You must surrender all vanity and allow a sister to give you a make-over of her pleasing. This past year, we commandeered Marlee's fresh-from-Santa make-up kit and spread hot pink tar-like lip gloss on everyone's lips. We also liberally smeared body glitter on each other's faces. Amber apparently took "liberally smear" to new heights when she did my face because when my sister-in-law saw me she asked if I was the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. (Although, looking at this photo, I can't help but think that it couldn't have helped that I was wearing metallic sequins.)
Rule #2: You have to get your hair coiffed in a fun, new way. Sometimes we go legit with hairdo's, but sometimes we go a little crazy. My SIL Kim had a hard time doing anything too crazy this year. She actually wanted to look genuinely good. I forgive her; it was her first karaoke with us. We'll break her down slowly but surely.
Rule #3: You must have a mole. And not one God gave you. You have to let someone put a make-up mole somewhere on your face. You can choose a Cindy Crawford placement above the lip, one under the corner of your eye...the sky is the limit. Be a good sport about it. If 90 year-old Grandma can wear a fake mole without complaining, you can, too. (Clearly, Grandma went for the under-the-eye mole.)
Rule #4: You must accessorize. Usually, my sorioara (little sister) Whitney's earring collection is enough to satisfy our New Year's needs, but this year we also had Kim's haul of necklaces and bracelets from her past six months in the Philippines to add to our collection. We share a lot. If you don't like to share, you might not want to join us.
Rule #5: Your wardrobe choice should have some shine, fuzz or other texture. In 2007, Amber introduced her silver sequined mini-dress. It's shiny and indecently short and does the job beautifully. Amber's specialty is Broadway and this little number is a show-stopper, to be sure! For 2008, we pulled from various wardrobes to give everyone something with that little dazzle that says, "It's New Year's Eve."
Rule #6: You can't take yourself too seriously. This is, after all, karaoke. In my parents' basement. In rural, southern Pennsylvania. No one is going to see you except family. Until it gets posted on the Internet. hee hee
Please note my dad's fauxhawk here, people. My dad. Fauxhawk.
Rule #7: You gotta eat guac. For some reason, nothing says New Year's to us like some yummy guacamole. And bruschetta. And artichoke dip. And left-over fudge. And...well, you get the idea. Just don't show up with a full stomach, okay?
Rule #8: At midnight, you drink the good stuff. We go for variety when we purchase our sparking ciders: white grape, red grape, apple, wild berry, peach, if we can find it. There's just no non-alcoholic beverage we won't buy. That's how wild we are!
This past year, my sister, Amy (who has never in her life stayed up until midnight) graced us with her presence for the first time. We even got her to stay until 10:30. Wahoo! Whitney straightened her hair and my mom didn't even recognize her! She sang one number; we were so pleased with our new convert.
But I must give the award for Best Newcomers to my brother, Joel, and his wife, Kim. I didn't know Joel had it in him, but he was quite the karaoke maniac. Kim was great, don't get me wrong, but I knew she had it in her! They did several duets and were just darling. And who will ever forget Kim's "Pour Some Sugar on Me?"
Just click on it! It's only 20 seconds, but, boy, do they sound good!
Adam and his Laura have been rocking the house with their vocal instruments for years, but I never tire of his Neil Diamond or her anything. The girl was in a rock band in college. She's seriously good.
My Michael, ever averse to following Rule #6, spent another year sitting in the back corner, refusing to sing a note. In all fairness, about three years ago, I got him to do a duet with me--"The Ketchup Song"--that was something. But that's it. One year. One song.
One of my favorite things about our little party (aside from the fact that all the grandchildren are sleeping peacefully two flights up while Amber belts out, "New York, New York") is that my Grandma loves to come. As a long-time recipiant of Amber's make-overs and my hair-do's, Grandma knows exactly what she is getting into when she comes over. And she came prepared in 2008, let me tell you. She had a little bag with her and wouldn't let us peek until it was time. Then, she proudly put a "Happy New Year" headband on her head and a plastic lei around her neck and pronounced herself ready for the party. When she sang "That's Amore" with my dad, she let him wear her headband and switched to the other headpiece in her bag, a sun hat. She's as nutty as the rest of us, I tell you.
This video is only a ten-second taste of my family's talent.
And so, if you'd like to come, you're invited. We do it every year. Same time, same place. And many times, the same songs. It's just good, clean (family) fun.