Haaaaappy New Year! Well, almost. The past two years I took it easy on New Year’s Eve. In 2015 I was actually at Katie’s house, alone, sitting on the couch watching a movie. All the cool kids (every single person) in the house went to sleep way before midnight! Last year, I hung out in Florida and found myself sitting around a patio table at midnight with a few close friends. It was intimate and amazing. I’ve also had my share of
exhausting awesome nights. Two of my favorites were seeing Phish at Madison Square Garden and frolicking on a beautiful island in Thailand. I love it all, the quiet nights and the crazy ones.
This year, I’m attending a Vegas-style house party. Cute dresses, gambling with fake money, and a bit of boozin’. If it wasn’t for this party, I’m not sure exactly what I would be up to, but I’d definitely celebrate in the comfort of my own home. Here are a few unconventional New Year’s Eve ideas if you’re staying in this year. If you have another good suggestion, let me know.
Wine or beer tasting
Buy a couple bottles of different types of wine (Trader Joes has quality, inexpensive wine) or if you know what you fancy, maybe three bottles of the same type of wine. If you’re going the beer route, do a mixed six pack, again several types of beer or six of your favorite variety.
Set it up properly. If you’re drinking wine, allow each bottle to breathe for at least thirty minutes before the tasting. Set out an assortment of cheese, crackers, and some fruit. If you’re doing beer, cheese works, but you could also do some bar snacks or maybe soft pretzels. If you’re really in it to win it, take notes during the process. Document the look, feel, flavor, and your overall opinion of each drink that way you can better choose your fancy next time.
First, bring all the blankets and pillows out into the living room. Pile them on the carpet or on the couch and make the best little nest for yourself. Then shower and change into the coziest pajamas you own. If you have a robe, throw that over the jammies before slipping on fuzzy socks and slippers. Do you have dogs? Where are their pajamas? Put them on. Cue the music or your favorite movie and pj the day away!
Everybody (dudes, I know you do too) has a drawer full of bath and body products that never get used. Today is the day. Pull them all out because this is basically a wine tasting, but with face masks.. for your skin.. not your taste buds. At the very least, your day should involve a lot of exfoliation, followed by layers of lotions and creams. If you’re on top of your game, a bath or at least a footbath and epsom salts should consume an hour of your day. Maybe your spa day includes making some of your own potions too. Here’s the recipe for our DIY bath bombs. Also, my dry skin cannot skip a day of Katie’s winter face oil.
Vow to read a certain amount or maybe as much as possible in a single day. You switch back and forth between a few books to keep it interesting or throw in an article or maybe even a graphic novel, whatever you need to do to read, read, read. The little boy who read 100 books in a day originally inspired this idea. Thanks, Caleb!
Are you illiterate? Watch some movies or a TV series instead. Apply a theme or pick your absolute favorites from 2017 or maybe your childhood? Can I recommend the movie Fargo and then the entire Fargo the TV series? Whatever you choose, try to do something to inspire the marathon instead of just binging on something random otherwise it will just seem like a day in front of the TV instead of a magical movie marathon, ya know? You could also be inspired by the marathon and dress up like a character or take on their persona for the day. Tell me you picked Cheech and Chong and now you’re stuck smoking weed all day? See how funky this movie marathon could be?!
Have you ever created a vision board? I think of it like brainstorming for life instead of an essay prompt. Your vision board can be as complex or simplistic as you deem necessary, I think it’s best to really do it your way. Maybe you like to cut and paste or maybe you have fantastic journaling skills, that we’re all insanely jealous of. Whatever your chosen route, gather any necessary supplies, light a candle, and put on a soothing playlist. Now ask yourself the following questions and make sure you tell the truth when you answer.
Describe the life you envision. What gives you the most enjoyment? Who and what inspires you? What does your perfect day look like? Who do you love? Set your life’s intention and create!
Declutter + Donate
Let it go, let it goooooo! Really though, just get rid of shit, you absolutely won’t miss it. My roommate and I leave a big cardboard box by the door and day by day we find things we can live without and place them in the box at the end of each week we drop it off at the Goodwill. The fewer things you have, the fewer things you need to organize and clean.
Gratitude List + thank you cards
Everyone loves mail. Everyone. Everyone. Every single person you know will be delighted to see an actual piece of mail in their box instead of a pile of junk. If you aren’t sure what to say, start with ‘thinking of you!’ and if it ends there, sweet, you just finished your first card. If you want to take it a step further, craft a few care packages.
No stamps?! Write out a gratitude list instead. It’s pretty straightforward, just jot down all the things you’re thankful for including big and small, human and inhuman, avocado and nonavocado. You can also be grateful for the absence of negative things in your life. For instance: I’m thankful there is no longer a travel ban on laptops and cameras and that I can fly through Doha without having to check my equipment at the gate. First world problems, ick.
FaceTime friends + family
I’m going to let you in on a revolutionary facetiming tactic. Set down the phone! Just have your partner prop you up somewhere and you do the same. Set your phone on a desk or windowsill or table and get on with your life. Maybe you’re cooking or crafting or watching a TV show, whatever it is, it’s much more fun together. I tend to become some combination of awkward, shy, nervous, and bored when I facetime so setting down the phone and doing something while I chat really relaxes things.
365 of something
sit-ups? push ups? sun salutations? a mantra? focused inhales + exhales? jumping jacks? pages of a book? things donated? wishes or intentions for the new year? ways to use coconut oil? things you’re grateful for? pieces of popcorn eaten? dollars earned? vacations planned? Okay, things are getting ridiculous, but now I’m off to make a list of 365 places I want to go.