Thursday, December 28, 2017

4 Alternative Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve

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When it comes to New Year's Eve, I've never been a big partier. My partying days are (mostly) behind me anyway, and when it comes to New Year's, to me there's nothing more awful than starting off a new year - and spending an extra day off for that matter - feeling hungover, sick and full of regrets. No thank you. Over the past several years, we've scaled back our New Year's Eve festivities so we can really take in the first of the year and start things off right. In my mind, January 1 can help set the tone for the following 364 days, and I don't want alcohol to factor into that (lest I sound too holier-than-thou, yes, I will probably have a cocktail on Sunday night).

At the risk of sounding like a wet blanket, I'd rather get some sleep and wake up super early to watch the sun rise on a new year and then spend the first day of January doing something fun and active (like a new year's day yoga class). This year, Chris and I are throwing it back to how we used to celebrate New Year's Eve in high school (mostly me because Chris was a wild child): We're going snowboarding. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would take the last lift up the mountain, right before they'd set off the NYE fireworks and then hide in the woods to wait for ski patrol to pass through. We'd then have the best seats in the house to watch the fireworks display and get last run. While we'll probably play by the rules this year (we're not 16 anymore, after all), I'm looking forward to a fun day on the mountain, watching some fireworks from the lodge, and then going to sleep before 10. If you're like us and choose to chill on New Year's Eve, below are a few more ideas for fun, hangover-free ways to ring in a new year:

Get outside: If skiing or riding isn't your thing, there's plenty of other ways to spend the last day of the year outdoors. Go snowshoeing, cross country skiing (which tends to be more affordable then downhill because there's no lift involved), sledding (remember sledding?), or get out for a hike if there's no snow on the ground. If you're a monster, subject yourself to ice skating (does anyone actually enjoy ice skating?). Once you're ready to head back indoors, warm up by making a bit pot of hot cocoa or spiced apple cider and cozy up next to the wood stove (or space heater, as the case may be).

Have a bonfire: Growing up, wintertime bonfires were a regular occurrence and often accompanied by sledding parties. Personally, for a cold weather holiday like New Year's Eve, I'd rather spend it bundled up outdoors than shivering in a party dress, there's very little shivering when you're standing next to a blazing bonfire. Bring some marshmallows, graham crackers and good dark chocolate for s'mores, and grab some paper and a pen, too. After you've filled up on s'mores, write your goals and hopes for the coming year on the slips of paper and (safely, carefully) place them in the flames.

Host a movie night: Not into freezing your ass off? Skip the cold and go straight for the cocoa, cider and Netflix. Invite some like-minded friends over while you're at it and watch your favorite series or movie trilogy (might I suggest the original Star Wars?) or series. Bake some cookies to really set the mood - I recommend these.

Plan a midnight hike: Aaaaand we're back outside. Can you sense a theme here? The moon will be almost full (officially full on January 1st) on December 31st, plan a moonlit hike to to top of a local peak to view the moon and stars in all their glory. I love using All Trails to find local hikes, just be sure to bring a friend (or a group!) to stay safe.

How are you planning on celebrating this weekend? Let me know, I'd love some more ideas...


Michaela said...

It's going to be -14° new years eve night here in MN, so I'm all about staying indoors somewhere fun and festive.

Heather P. said...

Great ideas! While I always get roped into going to my brother-in-law's for NYE, I hope that I can get outside during the day instead (if it's not raining...but it's it probably will). I was the only sober one at Christmas, so my husband is making up for it by driving so I can have a cocktail or two for a change!

Happy new year, and I hope you get a great view of the fireworks this year!

Orchid Grey said...

Michaela - Brr! Yes, it's going to be about 5 here, so whatever we're doing, we're doing it bundled! Happy New Year and stay warm!

Orchid Grey said...

Heather - Hope you get some outdoor time and I'm glad to hear you get to be the one with a cocktail in hand this time :) Happy new year!

Liana said...

Great ideas – thanks for sharing! Especially love the bonfire! So agree that starting Jan. 1st off healthy and motivated sets the tone for the year. Planning a lot of outdoor activities next month to bust through the cabin fever. Happy holidays!

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