After a season of holiday parties, school concerts, visits with the in-laws and year-end deadlines, your festive spirit may be running low by the time December 31 rolls around. If you want to skip the overpriced prix fixe menus and long lines at the bar, ring in the New Year in the comfort of your own home.
Whether you are spending the evening solo, with a significant other, or you are entertaining a group, add a few extra-special touches to create a cozy night, filled with both comfort and style.
Set the scene
Layer in ambiance by lighting your favorite candle or diffusing your preferred scent, and by artfully arranging a bouquet of fresh flowers.
Consider sending yourself a winter bouquet for an extra elegant arrangement that also gives back to a worthy cause. Incorporating a live plant or flowers into your decor will brighten up the space and also offers heath benefits — both are advantages that go a long way when the wait until the spring seems endless.
Prepare the table
An evening spent reminiscing over the past year and welcoming in the new one is the perfect occasion to bring out the nice china. Whether you’re ordering pizza or cooking surf and turf, serve it in style. Style your island or kitchen table with the serving dishes, dinnerware and glasses you typically reserve for special occasions.
Create the menu
Whether you prefer sips and snacks, or a sit-down meal, treat yourself to a meal you will savor. Create a specialty cocktail and serve a sampling of your favorite hors d’oeuvres to start the evening. For a low-maintenance feast, order in a taste of your favorite local restaurant. If you prefer a home-cooked meal, uncork a bottle of wine and prepare a leisurely, home-cooked dinner.
Design the backdrop
Fill your couch or bed with extra plush pillows and blankets to create a cozy, warm and inviting space to curl up and wait for the clock to strike midnight.
Use this opportunity to refresh the filling in your throw pillows, or to update the pillow cases to a winter-inspired texture, such as chunky cable knit, faux fur or plush plaid. Assemble a pile of coordinating throw blankets that you will be thankful for, once January’s bitter cold sets in.
Plan the evening activities in advance so you don’t waste the night figuring out what to watch or what games to play. Save a collection of movies or a show series to your DVR, organize a pile of magazines or books, or set aside your favorite games to play as you wait for the clock to strike 12.
Plan for the year ahead
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, take advantage of spending the last night of the year in the comfort of home by outlining your goals for the coming year. You will already feel accomplished by the time you wake up on January 1, and ready to take on a new year.