New Year’s Eve typically evokes one of two feelings—joy or dread. For many of us it’s a time to reflect and make all sorts of promises for the year ahead. (Said promises usually flowing as freely as the bubbly wine and just as quickly forgotten the next day.) For others, especially parents of young kids, the night has morphed from what once was the best party of the year to lights out well before the ball has dropped. Of course, the holiday holds strong for the young and young at heart, willing to bear the cold and masses and flock to NY’s Times Square, or alternatively party well into the next year. No matter which crowd you’re running with this holiday, here’re some tips for reveling in the holiday your way.
1. Haters Guide to New Years
One of my closest friends “hates” New Year’s Eve. Understandably, it can be a drag to rally up once again after a month of holiday madness, throw in some kids and a full-time job and you may just want to take the night off. If you’re a hater, it’s your right not to party. However, you can still enjoy ringing in the new year if you follow these simple tips.
Keep It Small: Choose one friend, one couple, and if you have kids, spend it with a couple whose children you actually like. Keeping it small eliminates drama and work. Plus it keeps it low key, which is the perfect vibe for a NYE hater.
Stay In: NYE is one of the most insane nights out on the town so don’t even bother venturing out. If you don’t want to cook, order in. But remember to place your order well before you want to eat. Your not the only genius with this plan. Expect pick up or delivery times to be double what your normal wait would be.
Keep It Simple: If you don’t want to order in, share the work. Everyone involved should be chipping in, whether it’s bringing the wine and beer, snacks or a part of the dinner. Do not take it all on yourself.
2. Kid-Friendly New Years
Whether it’s baby’ first New Year’s or you’re wrangling a whole brood, gone are the days of club-hopping or party buses on New Year’s Eve. Not because you can’t but simply because you just don’t want to anymore. New Year’s Eve with kids, of all ages, can be amazing sans the wicked hangover. Here’s how to have a great kid- friendly NYE.
Make It Memorable: With kids in play you want to be sure you have some activities planned. No worries, this should be stress- free like making a time capsule. I promise even the least crafty person in the world can make a time capsule. Everyone simply writes a list of things about themselves. (i.e..: In 2014 my favorite movie was, my best memory from this year, next year I want to, when I grow up I want to be…) Add some artwork from little ones and pictures from the year, and voila!—you have a time capsule. I use cookie tins from the holiday and let the kids decorate them with craft paper or leftover tinsel. If you want to actually bury it, a mason jar works great. Otherwise store your cookie tin time capsule away in a closet and open it next New Year’s Eve.
Keep It Fun: Every parent knows that in the blink of an eye our sweet snuggly munchkins will be the next round of hoodlums attending the aforementioned club parties. It’s also much easier said than done to cherish each moment. Working parents know how guilty we feel when the kids simple request is “Will you play with me?” and not because our hearts are made of stone, but just because there is still so much to do we apologize and keep moving. Well this night, this one night of the year is our chance to redeem ourselves and pay full attention to playing with them. Board games, cards and even silly games like toilet paper bowling are perfect for a kid- friendly NYE. For teens and tweens, let them pick the playlist.
Food & Drink: Let the kids be involved, either picking the menu or helping out in the kitchen. For drinks, this is a punch perfect holiday. Little kids love ladling out their own.
3. New Years Full Throttle
This either sounds terrific or terrifying to you. If you’re reading, I’ll take that as terrific. To enjoy the ultimate NYE bash, you first need to decide whether you are going to host it or attend. Here’s a few tips to ensure a fabulous full blown NYE.
Plan Ahead: With this being one of the biggest party nights of the year you’ll need to start planning a month and a half in advance. If you plan on going out ticket sales to galas and soirees around the country usually go on sale in early December. If you’re planning to host you’ll want to send out your invites by the end of the first week in December.
The Little Black Dress: What you’ll be wearing is as important as what you’ll be doing. This too takes some planning. Don’t wait to the last minute. We never have as much time as we think. Plan your attire from head to toe so on NYE you can simply slip into your shoes and walk out the door without leaving a mountain of clothes in your wake.
$$$: Be prepared to dish out some dough if you’re hosting or heading out. Dinner or party tickets can range from $100- $350 per person. If you’re hosting this is the time to dazzle your guests and that usually means a bigger bottom line when it comes to food, drink and decor.