New Year’s Eve has the potential to be the best night of the year or the worst night depending on how you handle it. Always overpriced, often overcrowded and sometimes a completely disappointing way to wish in a new year, in order to ensure that you get the most out of your end-of-2017 celebrations, you’re going to want to plan in advance. There’s no “winging it” on New Year’s Eve, unless you want to spend it alone, tucked inside your cold apartment with a bottle of cheap champagne whilst watching the festivities on your TV.
With that being said, we’re here to ensure that you have the best New Year’s Eve that you can possibly have. It’s easy. Trust us.
Step 1: Host it Yourself
Every terrible New Year’s Eve party we’ve ever endured has been down to people not getting themselves together and organizing something. Relying on other people on one of the busiest nights of the year will often lead to disaster, and though you may be worried about the potential headaches that will ensue if you take up the responsibility, you’ll be glad you did in the end when the night is going exactly how you want it to.
If you’re not a natural leader of the people, then look at it this way: do you want to spend a heap of money on a night out that is someone else’s idea of a “great New Year’s Eve,” but in actuality is pretty darn terrible? Or do you want to do things YOUR way; the right way? Of course you do.
Let everyone know right now – seriously, we’ll wait here until you do – that you’re in charge this New Year’s Eve. You’ll thank us for it on January 1st.
Step 2: Don’t Go Outdoors
Unless you’re invited to some historic, can’t-miss event such as the Times Square countdown or a club night in a gaudy, expensive club that reality TV stars frequent, there’s no excuse for going outdoors on the evening of December 31st. Perhaps this may come as a shock to you, but prepare to have a startling epiphany: New Year’s Eve is, by and large, terrible. It’s a night where people are willing to spend twice the amount of money they’d typically spend on an evening simply to say that they actually did something with their NYE, rather than sat at home and looked at their cat.
The Great Outdoors is not so great on this one particular day of the year, as it’s filled with people who are letting themselves off the leash thanks to them having the following day off work, venues who continue to pile people in from the street even after they’ve reached max capacity and drinks that come with a price tag so extortionate your emotions will veer from anger, to sadness, to acceptance as you realize that the only way you’re going to get drunk tonight is if you make the adult decision to be late on next month’s rent.
Outdoors isn’t much fun on New Year’s Eve, so really, there’s only one alternative.
Step 3: Find a House/Apartment
You may not necessarily want to look like the people in the above stock photograph, with their shit-eating grins, lens-free glasses and haircuts, but if you’re not going to venture outdoors (which you absolutely shouldn’t, as made abundantly clear in step 2), then you’re going to need somewhere to go. House parties aren’t just for 17-year-olds, y’know – being in a room only occupied by the people you like/tolerate is much better than being in a club surrounded by strangers. Strangers are strange; the clue’s in the title.
With that being said, if you’re taking up hosting duties this year then it’s preferable if you occupy a house/apartment that can withstand the weight of guests, assuming you don’t have a landlord that would throw you out on your ass if anyone other than you or your aforementioned cat entered your building. If that’s the case, then you’re going to need to get supplies.
First thing’s first, you need to get your audio sorted. Getting a set of speakers for this one particular occasion is expensive and, given that most parties are now conducted via Spotify, a little useless. No, you’re going to want a powerful dock to rest your iPhone/iPod, and this 420W from Sony is as good as you’re going to get, and is only $299.99 from Best Buy.
Next up are the drinks. New Year’s Eve is for cocktails, and you’re going to want to start off with a decent cocktail shaker. This tall and slim shaker from Oggi Marilyn will ensure that your drinks do not spill, and is sizable enough for even the most ludicrously elaborate of your creations. Buy it on Amazon for $19.33.
Our favorite home bar essential, however, is the Brookstone app-controlled cocktail maker.
This cocktail maker allows you to plug your iOS device into a scale, before bringing up the official Brookstone app that will show you exactly how many measurements of each spirit/mixer you’re supposed to add to each cocktail. The scale is incredibly accurate, meaning that you’ll never overdo it with the gin in a martini, and the app even allows you to create and upload your own cocktail recipes to its catalog. Along with picking from reading the recipes of old classics, you can also browse a wealth of user-created cocktails through the app, before pouring them out for all your guests.
Step 4: Sort Out Your Invitations
No matter how much preparation you have put into your New Year’s Eve celebrations, all hopes of having a stress-free night will come undone if you don’t put enough effort into your invitations. Regardless of how close you are with these people, if you’re adamant on not spending the next morning cleaning red wine off your carpet and dealing with a myriad of problems within your social circle, these are the people to whom you must say “sorry, I think your invite was lost in the post”:
- The argumentative couple: You like them both as individuals, but there is no way that these two should be together romantically. At least, not when alcohol is involved. Considering how much they’re both likely to consume on NYE (probably as a result of them having an argument beforehand), you’re going to spend the majority of your evening trying to force a wedge between them while they stomp around your house, cursing each other and spilling alcohol everywhere. Sure, failing to invite them may anger them, but let’s face it – they’re angry all the time anyway.
- The fighter: Even if this guy is a pacifist by day, with a few drinks down his neck he always comes out all guns blazin’, looking to pick a fight on anyone who maintains eye contact with him for even the fewest of seconds. Honestly, he’ll probably understand if you choose to not invite him.
- The moocher: You want everyone to have a good time on New Year’s Eve, not just this one guy who hoards all the alcohol to himself, sits in a corner and proceeds to drink your money away. If you simply have to invite him, tell him that everyone is bringing their own supplies. When he shows up with his alcohol/snacks in tow, he may be a little irritated when he realizes that he’s the only one who has been informed of this “rule,” but at least there will be enough food and drink for everyone to enjoy.
Step 5: Wake Up and Congratulate Yourself on a Job Well Done
After your successful New Year’s Eve party, you can wake up on the morning of January 1st, 2018 and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Just kidding. You’re actually going to be suffering with a debilitating hangover and struck with the terrifying realization that you’ve got a shitload of cleaning up to do. Good luck!
Photos: Getty Images