There’s really no wrong way to do New Year’s Eve, as long as you’re safe. And, with a little extra energy and planning, you can create a wonderful experience for those you choose to have with you to usher out the old and ring in the new. At a time when many are again opting to stay in for the celebrating, we have compiled seven unique ways to make New Year’s memories at home.
1) Starting out your New Year’s Eve a bit quietly and reflectively by carving out a few moments for yourself can be a very powerful thing. If you keep a journal, curl up in a cozy place under a favorite blanket to spend a little while reading back through the year that was. Life can seem to go by in a flash, but if you take time to look back at everything the last 364 days has brought, you can gain a lot of perspective about what is important to you. If you’ve not been in the habit of journaling, there’s no better time to start…and you can begin with a New Year’s resolution, or what you resolve NOT to do in the coming year!
2) If you’re having a few people over, a really fun way to share the workload and cost is to host an “Around the World Potluck.” Ask guests to bring a food and a beverage unique to a particular country, with some explanation of what it is and how it’s special to the location or culture. You may want to coordinate ahead of time which countries people will represent, just to be sure the evening isn’t limited to multiple lasagnas and bellinis or quesadillas and margaritas (as delicious as all of those are.) Bonus points if your guests bring something representative of how other countries celebrate the New Year.
3) Goodbye to what’s holding you back and hello to what you’re ready to embrace. If you’re hosting a gathering, have everyone write down on a slip of paper one thing they want to put behind them starting on January 1…and one thing they want to begin doing in the New Year. Burn the over-and-done things in the fireplace or firepit—and have each person read aloud their fresh starts to the group. There’s something wonderfully cathartic about this tradition, and sharing aloud a personal hope for your future is a first step in achieving it.
4) Serve up a midnight brunch! Make a variety of things ahead like breakfast casseroles, overnight French toast, fillings for a crepe station, fruit salad and homemade cinnamon rolls. Simply have everything warming in the oven or ready to pull out of the fridge right after the 12 a.m. champagne toasts are made and kisses are planted.
5) Host your own slightly swanky 50s style cocktail or mocktail party and forgo the expensive crowded bar drinks and Uber ride home. We all have a little mixologist in us, just waiting to be released. To keep things simple and low-fuss, embrace a couple of tried-and-true punch recipes. Food & Wine offers some great inspiration, ranging from refreshing and a little spicy to bubbly to tiki-style party punches.
6) Invite your friends over for a trashy soiree, where everyone comes dressed up in attire made from things they plan to throw out…packing material from all the recently delivered packages or leftover wrapping paper and bows are just a start. You’d be amazed what you can create from materials that are otherwise destined for the garbage or recycling bins. Offer prizes for the most creative outfits. Hint: bubble wrap is both a perfect material to work with AND irresistibly interactive for party guests!
7) Don’t forget about the people in your life who aren’t physically with you. Prepare the perfect New Year’s kiss selfie ahead of time, have it all cued up on your phone – and at the stroke of midnight, start sending it via text to all of your friends and loved ones.