A Guide to Celebrating New Year’s Eve

Yes – another post this week! I’m spoiling you all. Well, since it’s that weird liminal space between various holidays, I’m treating you all. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Ah, New Year’s Eve. New year, new us… and a whole lot of new things to procrastinate. But more importantly, it’s New Year’s Eve! A night full of revels and frivolity, fireworks and alcohol… what better way to welcome in the new year? Well, lads, ladies and others: as always, I’ve got your back. What you are about to read is a list of suggestions to get your year off to a cracking start (and also how to make yourself look stupid in ten easy steps). Enjoy!

  1. Attend a New Year’s party

You know the one I mean. The food is cheap and served on paper plates, the alcohol is both plentiful and disgusting, and there’s always some creep trying to persuade anything with a pulse to be their “New Year’s kiss” (don’t be that person). If there’s a karaoke, take advantage of it and strongarm a friend into singing a duet with you. Wait for the fireworks (which will always come after a slightly awkward pause as the techie frantically tries to light the fuse in the rain) and cheer loudly when they go off. Get pissed. Lose a shoe somewhere in the building and hobble home. Get halfway and realise you’re lost, before calling an Uber. Let your friends persuade you to do shots and experience a deep and meaningful sense of utter remorse. Do at least one thing that you’ll probably regret in the morning. Wake up with a terrible headache, and begin your year with a hangover that makes you wish you could skip the whole year altogether.

  1. Enjoy a nice evening at home

You don’t want to faff around with all that party rubbish, do you? Well, honestly, who in their right mind would? Sit at home with your cat (you’ve probably got a cat), watching the New Year’s countdown on the telly, with a tasteful glass of red wine in your hand. Your outfit can go one of two ways: either go the whole hog and dress up to the nines, makeup and all… or just sit in your dressing gown and put on the fuzzy socks that no one but you and your cat need know about. Go on social media and look at all the photos you’re missing out on. Feel a sudden twinge of regret at everything you are missing. When your cat abruptly jumps off the sofa and leaves the room, the feeling will probably intensify. Make the New Year’s resolution to get another cat.

  1. Spend the evening with family

What could be better than visiting family over Christmas? Visiting them over New Year’s certainly isn’t! Christmas is an excellent time for relatives because the abundance of holiday cheer can keep the mood buoyant enough, but on New Year’s Eve the conversation can often turn into a minefield, and you must be vigilant and crafty if you want to keep your reputation as a respectable cousin intact. What are your resolutions this year?How’s the career going? and I wonder how this year’s politics will go? are all questions to avoid like the plague. Meanwhile, Uncle Bert has shared the sherry with granny and they’re both dancing along to Kylie Minogue, your dad has engaged in a long and boring conversation about government with your cousin who is desperately looking to escape, and you end the evening locked in the downstairs bathroom with your nan knocking on the door while your second cousin regrets buying an Indian takeaway.

  1. Work a night shift

If you’re unlucky enough to draw the short straw when deciding your hours, you may end up working during the oddest witching hour of the year. There is something rather bewitching about being the lone employee on the shop floor as people in varying stages of drunkenness flit betwixt the aisles like stumbling, burping Fair Folk deep in their cups. You smile politely at everyone who passes you; either you are ignored or receive a long-winded explanation of the entire situation at hand by a lone, swaying figure who can’t quite focus. You sell a blow-up pineapple. You didn’t even know that your shop sold blow-up pineapples. Eventually, the visitors peter out, and with the exception of a small spike of customers at five am, the rest of the night is like a graveyard. You say that you will not be doing this shift next year. You say this every year.

  1. Spend some quality time with your children

If you have young children, they may attempt to persuade you to let them stay up until midnight to watch the fireworks. Do not agree to this. Although on the surface this seems like an innocent request, it will backfire enormously. At first, everything will appear to be going perfectly: the children are beginning to grow sleepy, the house is nice and quiet, and you (and perhaps a significant other) are experiencing the profoundly intimate sensation of being almost alone. This will last until your children reach the sugar. It will not be immediately apparent how or where this sugar was acquired. Your children will instantly be wide awake like the tiny gremlins they are, running around the house, screaming, playing, and altogether managing to cause you all to miss the fireworks. And, after everything, you will now have to track your children down and somehow persuade them to sleep. Good luck.

  1. Go out with your friends

There’s nothing like spending time with your best mates. However, spending time with your best mates on New Year’s Eve can often lead to sitting on a bench in the middle of the park drinking wine from the bottle, and attempting to mimic pigeons. This year, change it up a bit. Go and try an escape room, go trampolining, visit a shopping centre and make a bad impulse buy. Take some silly photographs. Give your poor, overworked liver the rest it deserves. Go on a carousel clearly meant for children no older than ten and try and ride side-saddle. Try to skip stones (and fail miserably). Nurse your frostbite from sitting out in a field waiting for midnight to come. Bring in your year in the best way possible.

  1. Do nothing

New Year’s Eve is just another day of the calendar. Who cares about waiting up until midnight to cheer at a clock? You go to bed at ten, as you always do, and get some well-earned rest. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to your sleeping form, your nihilism and general celebratory apathy have been noticed by something not quite of this world. They have studied you. Your lack of concern is perfect for their needs. At midnight precisely, a beam of light shines through the window, lifting you into the air. By the time the new year begins, you are gone.

  1. Visit the local pub

There’s nothing quite like your local pub. The soothing hubbub of inane chatter… the hiss of the beer taps… the feeling you get walking in, like you’re some kind of lone ranger from the Wild West, here to kick some ass and drink some milk (points to whoever got the reference there). New Year’s Eve inside the local pub invariably starts as a quiet affair, but at some point, the enormous beardy bloke in the corner gets emotional, and then it soon devolves into some drunkard with a mouth bigger than their wallet yelling that “the drinks are on me!”, before everyone gets absolutely hammered and the whole pubs belts out “Auld Lan Syne”. Nobody ever knows the lyrics.

  1. Watch a fireworks display

As anyone who has ever observed New Year’s fireworks before will know, it rarely goes according to plan. The ground and fuses are usually wet; the fireworks themselves are from the pound shop (and were on special offer, to boot); and the techie is your Uncle Ted – who’s had a tad too much to drink – and whose experience with fireworks begins and ends at lighting the barbecue on the one day of summer when it doesn’t rain. There is a clock, but either it or your watch is wrong, and you have no idea which. The fuses are supposed to be ten second ones, but ten seconds go by and nothing happens. Uncle Ted has forgotten to actually light the fuse. He tries again. It requires the assistance of the church priest and the local drug dealer (who know each other of old from many hours spent in a confessional) to get them lit, and they go off a minute late with a bang and a shower of sparks that singe Uncle Ted’s eyebrows and nearly sets the priest’s cassock on fire. This happens every year.

  1. Start as you mean to go on

Do you plan to make your new year a productive one? A sporty one? A sober one? In that case, don’t try and have one last night of decadence and debauchery. You are just going to make yourself crave what you can’t have. Start the way the new year the way you finish the old one: ready and waiting, with healthy coping mechanisms and full of energy. (Unless you plan to spend the next year drunk. Then just get wankered and call it a night.)

I hope that your night is wonderful, and that you all have a very happy new year. Have fun, stay safe, and do things I definitely wouldn’t do! (I don’t do much, so this shouldn’t be hard.) Enjoy 2018!

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