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What to do (and not to do) on New Year’s Eve

newyearsfreakRight about now, you might be trying to figure out what to do on New Year’s Eve.  According to many in the know (that includes everyone who has ever ventured out of their homes on New Year’s Eve), this is the one holiday of the year that can be classified in two annoying categories – amateur night and overrated.

Amateur night because it’s the one night of the year (St. Paddy’s Day is a close second – although that’s a different level of drunken depravity) where everyone feels the need to get completely wasted.  Drinking is a must.  The entire night leads up to even more consumption of alcohol at the witching hour of midnight.  In turn, there is a lot of vomiting, passing out in places other than your own bed, and generally poor behavior.

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Overrated because there’s so much pressure for this to be the best night of the year.  It’s your last shot at making this year significant and memorable!  Everyone and anyone are going out – so you need to look your best and only attend the best parties.   Problem is – most of us don’t even know where those parties are, forget the fact that we weren’t invited.  So we try to make our own fun in order to surpass this alleged party to end all parties – or in this case, end the year.

So, what to do to avoid being mistaken for (or worse, embodying) a New Year’s novice and succumbing to the peer pressures of having the “best night ever”, which apparently includes drunkenness and debauchery.  It doesn’t have to be this way, not on New Year’s, not ever!

Make a plan

Don’t get all dressed up and have nowhere to go.  Be specific with your outing.  Don’t just go to a part of town or even a bar where it’s hip and you generally have fun.  Why?  Because that’s what EVERYONE else is going to do.  That equals long lines at the door, longer lines at the bar, nowhere to sit, no room on the dance floor, and getting bumped into left and right by some annoying drunken stranger.

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Dinners, parties which require an invitation or ticket, get togethers at home – this is where the fun happens.  No stress, no lines, no annoying drunken strangers (OK, those might be there) – but just good friends and good times.  Parties at home are boring you say?  Check out the game Cards Against Humanity.  BEST. GAME.  EVER.  You’re welcome.

Don’t be dumb

Remember this is amateur night, right?  That means drunken idiots getting in their cars to find the next non-existent party.  Don’t be one of them.  And try to limit your driving time amongst them.  Be careful!

Do you want to vomit? Don’t do a bunch of shots or drink anything you don’t regularly drink.  Do you want to make it to midnight?  Oh, and make sure to eat dinner.  Nothing helps your alcohol come back up better than an empty stomach.

Just because they serve champagne at midnight, no one says you have to drink it.  Adding all of those sweet bubbles to your existing stomach contents might not be the best idea.  Something to consider.

What to do about the New Year’s kiss

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I’m not sure where the “kiss someone at midnight” tradition started – probably with the same person who invented mistletoe.  I like the idea – so romantic, for couples, that is.  When you’re unattached and setting your sights on some unsuspecting lips, that’s another story.  Just because your beer goggles are giving you the thumbs up with the person at the next table, doesn’t mean their goggles are having the same thoughts.

You might want to ask, or at least alert,  before you leap.  Something along the lines of “I wanted to begin the New Year by kissing someone good looking, and I figured you’d want the same, so how about we do each other a solid?”  or “ I wanted to let you know that I plan to kiss you at midnight.  If you plan to slap me afterwards, can you give me a heads up as well?”.

If it’s spontaneous, like you hear Auld Lang Syne and you have this sudden urge to kiss your best friend’s sister, at least make an attempt at some eye contact before you do the deed.  Then you can at least say, “well, you saw me coming!”

Bottom line, try to show some class.  End the year with some dignity and begin the next with events you’ll be able to remember the following day.  If you start off by showing up in a viral chat roulette video, it just doesn’t set a good tone, you know?  Be safe, be smart and Merry New Year!

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