Typically, New Year’s Eve is the one night a year that even people who do not go out, actually go out. From watching the Ball Drop to fancy hotel ballrooms and rocking house parties, this is the one celebration that happens for everyone, all over the world. Regardless of your NYE traditions, this year most certainly will be different.
There are many ways to ring in the New Year right from the comfort of your own home. Here are some traditions you may consider starting or reviving if they were a thing of the past. In this post, I’ll elaborate on ways to decorate and transform your space, fun recipes & food traditions, and of course, magical music playlists and fun activity ideas. Let’s all embrace “out with the old, in with the new”, and here’s hoping for a happy and healthy 2021!
DECORATIONS! One cool thing about transforming your own space temporarily is the change allows you to use your imagination. There are so many things you probably already have, laying around waiting to live up to their entertainment potential.
- Christmas lights all over inside. Wrap them around furniture, ball them up & put them in vases, or even rig them to the ceiling.
- Throw some scarves or thin material over lampshades. This lets there still be ample light to see, but really sets the mood and adds pops of color.
- Cover your chairs/couch with fabric/blankets/scarves/tapestries to give an instant furniture makeover. Bonus points for sequins as they catch the light. *PRO TIP* T-shirts double as great makeshift, no-sew pillow covers…get a concert theme going with old tour shirts, or play with color blocking to set a tone.
- Have any spare mirrors or extra makeup compacts? Use those reflective surfaces to bounce the light around and create that disco ball vibe.
- Move your furniture around so you have room to dance. Most people do their best dancing at home when no one is watching 🙂
FOOD + DRINK! Some people eat to live, others, such as myself, live to eat. Food is a magical way to transport ourselves to another place and time by using our tastebuds. Here are a few ideas for yum yum this New Year and some of the traditions behind them.
- Tamales are a traditional Mexican celebration food and NYE es una gran fiesta! Try your hand at making them at home. Those delicious bundles of masa stuffed with meat, wrapped in corn husks and steamed, have come to symbolize family, with generations often gathering together in the kitchen, laboring with love, to make this traditional food that will be eaten all holiday season long. In Mexico, that spans from December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to January 6th, Three Kings’ Day.
- If you have German heritage or are from the Midwest in the US, then Pork Spare ribs and sauerkraut are popular for dinner on NYE. Legend says that Germans were looking ahead to the New Year and chose to enjoy pork because pigs look forward when they root for food, rather than chicken/turkeys which scratch backward. They also wished each other would receive as many riches as there are shreds of cabbage in the sauerkraut they eat in the New Year.
- Perhaps black-eyed peas, are more your good luck tradition. Traditionally prepared with greens and cornbread to represent dollars and gold, black-eyed peas are a commonplace food thought to usher in wealth and prosperity in the New Year for a lot of folks in the southern part of the USA.
- Charcuterie boards. Everything and anything has a place on these appetizer spreads nowadays. As far as NYE is concerned, it is considered good luck to eat 12 grapes, the food of the gods, 1 for every month. Besides fresh and dried fruit, things to include are nuts, sweet & savory smears, cheese, chocolate, candy, meat, and crackers. Be as luxurious as you want. Dates, raw honeycomb, Lox, Caviar, truffles, a variety of olives…the choices are endless and only limited by your preferences.
- Seafood extravaganza. Boil your own lobsters and learn how to clarify butter. Enjoy raw oysters, put together a shrimp cocktail, or even just go all out on that to-go sushi spread!
- No matter what your beverage of choice is, traditionally, Champagne is drunk on NYE. I am not a big drinker, but I loves me some Champagne. So much so, that in an alternate universe I go by the name *Tiny Bubbles*. Champagne is traditionally used to represent elegance and celebration. Not a drinker? No worries! Grab a non-alcoholic *Sparkling Cider* perfect to mix into a punch or give to the kids so they feel extra special.
MUSIC! I have crafted two playlists. One that is chill and another to get turned up to. Always Yin & Yang-ing! Music sets the mood and rounds out the overall feeling of the space, so if you need a little help, I’ve got you covered! Just click either hyperlink below to go directly to the Spotify playlist.
- *NYE * Turn Up* is designed to get you dancing and be heard with the volume up. Expect an eclectic mix spanning the decades filled with sing-a-long classics, dance remixes of popular songs, as well as a few jams at a slightly higher BPM to keep the energy up.
- *NYE * Chill* represents a more tranquillo vibe designed to relax you and be easy to talk over. Settle in for the night and let the music take you on a peaceful journey into the New Year.
ACTIVITIES! Sometimes in life, you have to make your own fun. Look at this year as you get to put together a New Year’s Eve magical oasis just for you and your chosen few. How cool is that?! Want to craft a little more magic…try adding these little *extras* to kick the night up (or down) a notch.
- Track down some sparklers and light up the night. Who doesn’t love just a touch of fireworks when it comes to celebrations!?
- Take a relaxing bath. Not everything has to be party, party, party. Hit the pause button and give yourself some much needed time to recharge. Center yourself. Grab a book, put on some tunes, and enjoy the magical healing powers of warm water. Drop-in a bath balm, some scented oils, or add bubbles. Treat yourself, you deserve it after the year 2020 has been!
- Think about CHEERS-ing. How many languages can you say “cheers” in? What are you celebrating? Write a toast! Give 2020 the proper send off…air your grievances and let go of that weight you have been carrying, especially for the last few months.
- Be truly extra. Get all the wearable blinky LEDs, combine that with smoke cannons and be the midnight rainbow that helps everyone get in the brightest of spirits for 2021!
- Go on a night bike ride or hike. The moon will just have been full so there will be a good amount of natural light. Plus, it gives you a chance to be one with nature and say thank you to mother Earth and make sure you have grounded yourself for the New Year.
- Bang pots & pans at the stroke of midnight. This is a personal family tradition that goes back at least 3 generations. When else can you go outside and be loud for an entire minute and no one will bat an eye? Embrace it. Make all the noise! Yell, scream some sentiments, and let the world know you’re a fighter and ready for the New Year!
Seriously, if 2020 has taught us anything, it should be “ENJOY LIFE, you never know when it will change”! Now is the time to celebrate life, so bust out that fine china, wear that fancy outfit, and put the good vibes for health, wealth, and prosperity out there in 2021! Cheers to you and yours and best wishes in the New Year ❤ Always, Honey Jayne.
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