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Probably the worst place to be on the night before Christmas is where I am, stuck with a group of airline stewardesses turned bitter passengers, on a rival company's airline no less, waiting for a flight that will never arrive; marooned outside of gate D-10 in a sea of baggage, coats, empty potato chip bags, Taco Bell wrappers, and people – everywhere disgusting piles of people, on top of each other in lines or sitting around wearing dumb headgear like Santa hats and Rudolph's antlers executed in felt with wire stand-up supports.

"I hate my job so much," one woman says to me, deadly cold and serious after another delay in our flight is announced. "I just want to go home." Her airline stewardess uniform slacks, designed to make her look trim and efficient as she tells you about aircraft safety features and gets you more peanuts, are badly wrinkled now.

Everyone looks like they could crack at any moment, and the theme is quickly obvious: I just want to go home. Judging from the bloated ticket counter lines, there aren't many people around who disagree. At the end of one year and the start of a new one a family belongs together – celebrating past moments and cheering good times ahead – whatever it takes.

Or so it's assumed in America, where gas is cheap now and the family unit is back in vogue. Except I'd rather be stuck in traffic, or on a desert island, or waiting for a flight that will never be called, quietly reading my book – anything but with the family for the holidays. The start of a new year is just another reminder of how nothing has changed: there are still petty domestic squabbles, I still can't eat at the grown-up table, I still haven't done anything right or lost weight or written and called enough. I am more than happy to just let the whole holiday season pass as it should: ordinary day by ordinary day, and so I think, if I can ever get out of this airport, that in the new year I will resolve to travel more often – as long as it's in a direction my family is not in.

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What's your New Year's resolution?