To be honest, spending New Year’s Eve at home is almost always my preference. Big crowds and super late nights are not really my cup of tea, especially since having kids, so I tend to feel more relaxed ringing in the new year from the comfort of my living room! We’ve celebrated NYE in a bunch of different ways over the years (ranging from going out to an early dinner and then being home by 9, to inviting close friends to spend the night at our house and keeping the party going through breakfast!), but if there has been any year to fully embrace the at-home celebration, it’s this one. Especially if you’re reluctantly trading traditions like big parties, ball drops, or nights out on the town in favor of a more low-key option, I hope you’ll find some inspiration and encouragement below!
Set the scene
Tidy your celebration space. Take a few minutes to straighten up wherever you’ll be spending your evening. It doesn’t have to be perfect; just get it to a “guest-ready” state, even if the only ones who will see it are the members of your family. You don’t need the distraction of a sink full of dirty dishes raining on your parade!
Dress up! Nothing makes an occasion feel festive faster than sparkly nails, statement earrings, a fabulous dress, or your least practical shoes–after all, you don’t have to walk very far tonight! Not including any links here because 1. it’s too late to order anything in time, and 2. I’m sure you have some special pieces in your closet that haven’t seen the light of day since 2019! Now is the time :)
Cue up some fun music. Dave received a record player for Christmas and has already been having so much fun starting his record collection. Frank Sinatra, Leon Bridges, and Sam Cooke are all on deck to serenade us into 2021.
Light candles or twinkle lights. Even if you don’t use any other decorations, you can still turn your living room into a sparkling party space by playing with the lighting. Dim the overhead lights and then line your windows or fireplace with twinkle lights, turn on your Christmas tree if you still have it up, and/or light a bunch of candles.
Gather props. I didn’t buy anything new for these photos–I just sifted through our “non-Christmas holidays” bin to see what I could find! Balloons, noisemakers, party horns, confetti, and streamers are all fair game.
Mix a sparkling signature cocktail. When it comes to NYE drinks, I am all about the bubbles! You can certainly keep it simple and classic with a bottle of your favorite champagne or prosecco, or add a much-appreciated dose of novelty to the evening with a NYE signature cocktail. Try a French 75, a blood orange champagne mule, a pear and cranberry champagne cocktail, or a grapefruit rosemary sparkler.
Cook a special meal (or, better yet, order fancy takeout). To make the evening feel more like a date night, we’re planning to serve the kids dinner earlier in the evening and then enjoy our meal after their bedtime. Wedding china, cloth napkins, and candlelight are all a must! We did this for our five-year anniversary back in May and were amazed at how different it felt from our usual dinners. I’m going to make beef bourguignon from the Half-Baked Harvest cookbook (it’s made in the Instant Pot, so hands-on prep right before the meal is minimal), mashed potatoes, and a salad. For dessert, I have my eye on these chocolate lava cakes for two…yum!
Conversations to start
Share memories from the past year. Whether you flip through a slideshow of photos and videos, take turns answering Table Topic-style questions, or both, New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to reminisce about, laugh at, and share memorable moments from 2020.
Name superlatives from the year. This would be an easy and fun activity for a Zoom party with family and friends! Feel free to use my Best of 2020 post as a starting point, or come up with your own funny/thoughtful/random categories. Anything from the best takeout meal you ate, to the worst movie you watched during quarantine, to the funniest meme you saw, to your comfiest loungewear item, to the best way you took care of yourself this year goes.
Traditions to enjoy
A few classic NYE traditions you can easily bring home: playing/singing Auld Lang Syne (this version makes me tear up), counting down to the new year, toasting with champagne, kissing at midnight!
See you in 2021, friends! I’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming next week, starting with my 2021 goals (there’s still time to grab PowerSheets to guide your goal setting–they are 25% off right now!), my December outfit diary, and clean winter skincare favorites!