While this New Year’s Eve may be different from what we have experienced in previous years, you can still have a safe, enjoyable time. Here are a few ideas to get you started on those New Year’s Eve celebrations:
- Consider celebrating early. Most people enjoy staying up late on New Year’s Eve, but not everybody can stay awake until midnight. Since you may be staying in this year, you can decide when to ring in the New Year. So, consider ringing in the New Year earlier. That way, those who need to go to bed can still enjoy the festivities.
- Have a family sleepover. Just because you are sleeping at home does not mean you cannot have a sleepover. Have everyone set up pallets in the living room and create some delicious snacks. Talk about your hopes and prayers for the family in the upcoming year.
- Create your own rituals. A holiday celebration is what you make of it. Maybe your family decides to have a dance-off every New Year’s Eve or makes a special meal together. Find ways to make the moment memorable for you and your family.
- Pivot those traditions. Perhaps your family usually gets holiday photos. Consider getting the outfits and hair done as you usually would but have the photoshoot at home. Take this opportunity to consider new ways to do some of your favorite NYE activities.
- Follow the restaurant protocol. Most restaurants are now using disposable utensils and individually wrapped condiments. You can find festive disposable cutlery, plates, etc., online to help you attain the look that you would usually have for a gathering.
- Give everyone their own plate. Instead of creating large platters buffet-style, serve everyone their plate to limit contamination that can sometimes happen when everyone is grabbing their own food multiple times. Clean up may be easier this way as well!
- Set the ground rules. Let people know on the invitation how they can help create a safe space to celebrate. Encourage people to wear masks and stay six feet apart if possible. Consider being outside or in a well-ventilated room if possible.
- Keep the gathering small and selective. Perhaps it was okay for someone to bring a plus one in the past but remember each person in the same space can increase the risk of COVID exposure. Decide on a number that feels good for you and your family and stick to that.
- Cook a meal together. Black-eyed peas, cornbread, greens, etc., are believed to be good luck for the New Year. Try creating a meal that perhaps you have not done before.
- Get artsy. Create a scrapbook that your favorite moments together. Make a hope jar of your dreams and wishes together. Reflecting on positive moments together can increase that sense of connection.
- Consider checking out major city celebrations virtually. New York City will be doing their famous ball drop virtually, which can give you a great view in the warmth of your own home. Other large cities have also pivoted their celebration so that people can view them on television or online. Google virtual New Year’s Eve celebrations by city and see what pops up.
- Attend a concert. Just because you are not going out does not mean you cannot spend the night with your favorite artists! Many performers are doing virtual concerts-you can check out Billboard’s virtual concert list here.
- Attend (or host!) a virtual game night. Many businesses are now offering trivia nights on topics from music to history. Consider joining events such as those and inviting loved ones to log in from home. You can also find various information on how to host your virtual game night here.
- Create a vision board. Creating a vision board is a common practice and way to bring in the New Year. If you have not done one already, consider making one for yourself. If you already have one, consider creating a progression board-a visual representation of the things you have already accomplished/overcome. Sometimes focusing on that progress can help us get the motivation to go after our upcoming year goals.
- Treat yourself to a date. Often New Year’s Eve is considered a holiday marked by kissing someone at midnight. Even if you do not have someone to kiss this year, you can still show yourself some love. Get dressed up and order your favorite take out. Watch your favorite movie while eating your favorite dessert. Give yourself the attention that you deserve.
This is just a shortlist of ideas for celebrating the holiday. This year presents a unique opportunity to bring in the New Year creatively. Think of what is fun and safe for you and go for it! Cheers to bringing in the New Year in a fun, safe way!
Chante’ Gamby is a writer and therapist passionate about social justice and empowering others to live their best lives. You can follow her on Facebook at Fringefam, Instagram@fringegram, or on her website, www.fringefam.com.