My most memorable and best New Year’s was spent in a hospital.

Yes, you read that right. A hospital.

Years ago, I went into labor on New Year’s Eve. At about 9 p.m., I was checking myself into the hospital. By 3 a.m. New Year’s Day, my son arrived, as perfect as could be. It was the most magical celebration of New Year’s I’ve ever had, and now, in my head, “Auld Lang Syne” is my son’s song, as the doctor was singing it at the time of his delivery.

Now, he’s gotten to the point that he loves to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to do the countdown, but it’s not to ring in the new year. It’s to celebrate the first few moments of his birthday. Despite fighting sleep starting at about 10 p.m., I enjoy staying up with him and sharing these moments with him. Who knows how much longer I will be his first choice to celebrate with?

But I know many of you celebrate in the more traditional way, with large gatherings, revelry and perhaps a midnight toast. I beg you, please celebrate safely. If you do indulge while ringing in the new year, please use a designated driver or utilize a taxi service, Uber or Lyft. I would hate for anyone in our community to ring in the new year from jail or worse, from a hospital after a drunken driving accident.

I also want to wish you all a prosperous 2024. We had a lot of good things happen in our community in 2023, and I look forward to seeing the trend continue in the next year.

Happy 2024, all!