That doesn’t mean New Year’s Eve has be a downer. 2020 has been the most challenging year ever for many of us. All the more reason to celebrate and hope for better times in 2021!
Here’s what I think would help make your New Year’s Eve memorable…
Make a plan
Even a loose plan, even if is just for you. For example (customize anyway you wish)…
11 a.m. Take a walk
12 noon Make lunch
1 p.m. Tidy house and decorate; chill drinks; make dip, black-eyed peas, etc.
3 p.m. Take a nap
4 p.m. Journal/vision board/calendar/resolutions/set intentions/pray/reflect on the old year/etc.
5 p.m. Dress up a little!
6 p.m. Dinner and vide
8 p.m. Call/contact friends and family
9 p.m. Watch NYE programming, read, stretch (dance!), play games, hobby, color, etc.
12 midnight: Watch ball fall down & go to sleep
Start the day with a walk outside
Where I live, temperatures are going to warm up subsstantially but rain is in the forecast. Here, rain tends to start in the afternoon, not always, but usually. So if you get out before 11 a.m. and take a walk, it will go a long way to elevating your mood (forestalling any blues later) and will help with cabin fever during the evening. Also, if getting fit is one of your resolutiions, you can think of it as a head start!
Clean your home before New Year’s Day (or even New Year’s Eve)
In many cultures, it is considered bad luck to clean your home, particulary to sweep or vacuum, on New Year’s Day, as you may sweep away your good fortune. The same is true for doing laundry. It is customary to give your home a good cleaning before the day arrives.
Put up themed decorations
They can be Christmas decorations! Just more tinsel and string lights will do. If you can’t order any 2021-themed signs, you could always make one. Perfect excuse to get creative? And how about this wreath? I’m making one of these this year. One idea: those photo prop pieces (available at Dollar Tree, Party City and sometimes, Target). Snap off the sticks and use them as decorations on your wreath!
Wear something festive
If you’re home, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be comfortable. But you could do something fun with your hair or wear a glittery sweater. Just look your (comfy) best because you may want to take a photo to remember the night…and also share with your Facebook friends. Or you may be Zoom-greeting friends and family. I have a sparkly sweater to wear that seems to come out on just NYE.
Make something good to eat
There are many customs associated with food in the New Year. In many countries, pigs are a symbol of good luck. A pig roots for its food, moving forward, so it is associated with moving forward in the new year. Conversely, poulty, beef and shellfish are not considered to be “forward eaters” so in Europe, it is avoided on New Year’s. In Italy, it may be eaten with lentils, in Pennyslvania, with sauerkraut. In Asian cultures, eating white food, like eggs, is considered unlucky because white is associated with death but noodles and green vegetables are considered lucky. Germans and Austrians gift each other marzipan pigs. Pomegranates are considered lucky in Mediterrainean countries. In Scotland, on Hogmanay, it was customary to make shortbread cookies and eat a dinner of haggis, parnsips and potatoes. In Spain and Portugal, people eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for 12 happy months in the coming year. And of course, in the U.S., it is considered lucky to eat black eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day.
Fun for kids (and kids at heart)
If you have little ones, check with your public library about “Noon Year’s Eve” Zoom parties (free, of course) for little ones being held at noon.
You can find New Year’s Eve activities like games, crafts, resolutions and word searches on to download for free or low cost on Teachers Pay Teachers.
New Year-themed animated specials you can rent or purchase include Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.
Make plans to connect with your friends and family
Speaking of friends and family, especially, if you’re on your own, like me! Think now about how you will connect with your friends and family…will you call? Send New Year’s cards? Email New Year wishes? Set up a Zoom meeting? Post on Facebook? Facetime? If you plan it and put it on your calendar, it will happen.
Start filling in your 2021 calendar
You can find great calendars at Dollar Tree for $1 (naturally) and at Target for $3. I keep my calendars each year (which has been helpful to me for several reasons). This year, I found one by Day Designer that is just what I have been searching for. It’s big enough for my large scrawling handwriting, but light enough to carry everywhere AND it has a timed weekly section so I can keep track of appointments. It’s called the Weekly Monthly Planning Calendar ($20) if you want to check it out (Target).]
I will post 2021’s dates for notable events (like Mardi Gras, the Superbowl, Academy Awards, etc.) in a future post.
Sign up for a virtual celebration
Eventbrite and Facebook are listing all kinds of online events for New Year’s Eve, including worship services, concerts, workout sessions, 5Ks, meditation sessions, Bingo, dance parties, Trivia, etc. and most of them are free!
New Year’s Eve TV and online programming
On NBC, New Year’s Eve: Escape from 2020 is on from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is a program of a look back at 2020 produced by NBC News. This will be followed on NBC by New Year’s Eve 2020 with Carson Daly. On ABC, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve starts at 8 p.m. with hosts Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale, Billy Porter and Ciara.
Starting at 10:30 p.m. YouTube will host “Hello 2021: Americas” on the YouTube Originals channel: a virtual New Year’s Eve celebration. Juanpa Zurita and Storm Reid host, with celebrity guests Matthew McConaughey, Demi Lovato, RuPaul, Emma Chamberlain and the D’Amelio Family. Musical performances from Dua Lipa, J Balvin, YG, Karol G and Kane Brown; YouTube stars Larray, Marques Brownlee, Dude Perfect, Brad Mondo, ZHC and the Dolan Twins.
Movies and TV Episodes
Here is a list of ones to watch that take place on or around New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve
While You Were Sleeping
Bridget Jones Diary
When Harry Met Sally
Of course champagne is traditional, but you could also toast with sparkling rose, if you prefer. I’m going the non-alcoholic route with sparkling apple cider. It doesn’t matter what you toast with, as long as it isn’t plain water. That is considerd unlucky!
Make some noise!
Do you have any noisemakers? Making noise in the new year is an ancient tradition that was intended to frighten away evil spirits in many cultures around the world, including Denmark, Vietnam and Japan.
Have you heard the expression, ringing in the new year? In days gone by, church bells rang. It still happens in some communities. In Washington, DC, on New Year’s Day, all the bells in the city will ring between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to welcome the new year. Here is the schedule for the National Bell Schedule.
Stay Up Until Midnight
I think there is something magical about being awake as the old year passes.