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November 12, 2009 6:17 PM   Subscribe

How does your family celebrate New Years Eve?

Between working a massive amount of overtime in both November and December (including before, during, and after both Christmas and Thanksgiving), driving several hours each way to visit both sets of parents for both holidays, not to mention all the other stresses that come along with the Christmas season, my husband & I are betting on being pretty burnt out by the time the New Years comes around. It's the only holiday we "have" to ourselves, and this year we wanted to do something fun instead of just laying on the couch, watching the ball drop, and then calling our parents at midnight.

We don't have any children, and money isn't really a factor. None of our friends live close enough that we would be able to attend any parties. So, what do you do to celebrate New Year's Eve? Save us from another bland New Year's celebration!
posted by Point n Click to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a kid, we would melt lead (tin? lead, I think) horseshoes in the fireplace and quickly pour the melted tin into a pot of cold water. Analyzing the resulting shape tells you your fortune for the coming year. I haven't done it for years, but I'm hoping to do it with my children this year.

This blog (picked from a Google search, no idea whose it is) shows someone doing it. Their bottom photo clearly indicates that they'll be coming into money -- that's what the fuzziness shows, and fortune telling is always 100% accurate.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:22 PM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

Why not see how many "good luck" traditions from various countries you can accomplish in one night? My favorite has always been the Mexican tradition of carrying your luggage for a walk around the neighborhood if you hope to travel in the coming year.

The Mexican half of my family usually has a party with a huge bowl of soup (ex: pozole) and everyone gets a bowl and gets to doctor it to their heart's content. The table is scattered with bowls of lime wedges, shredded lettuce, pickled and fresh jalapenos, and stacks of steaming tortillas. Once the elders are sure you can't possibly eat any more they start handing you drink after drink (tequila with fruit juice or Tecate or Modelo) while the little kids run around screaming and playing hockey with brooms and flattened pop cans. You get pinched and squeezed and told you are too skinny or too fat, and grilled about your love life, and then they hand you another drink.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:29 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

We buy a lot of fireworks and blow them up.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:30 PM on November 12, 2009

We just get really drunk.
posted by nestor_makhno at 6:53 PM on November 12, 2009

Are there any nice restaurants nearby that offer NYE packages where you can dress up and then toast new years with a crowd? New Year's for me has always been an opportunity to get dressed up (e.g., buy a pretty dress once a year) and go out.
posted by ejaned8 at 7:03 PM on November 12, 2009

We eat finger food (cheese and crackers, garlic sausage, oysters, cocktail shrimp), play rummoli for pennies, get drunk, and at midnight run outside banging on pots and pans yelling "Happy New Year."
posted by arcticwoman at 7:10 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Any more, it's a half-glass of champagne and call it a night.

Not too long ago, though, NYE was a night for cutthroat card playing. Hearts for the most part, though we tried Spades a couple of times, too. Scrabble snuck in for awhile, but one of my fondest memories is blindly stumbling into a shoot-the-moon against three card-counting opponents. Good times.
posted by jquinby at 7:13 PM on November 12, 2009

We go outside at the stroke of midnight, to the chagrin of our neighbors (and delight of any children in attendance), and bang pots. This is to allegedly frighten away evil spirits.

It's a wife's family thing, so I keep my tongue firmly bitten whenever the "tradition" is explained. She's Scottish/Irish, so I suppose it could be - in the words of Graham Chapman - some form of "Papist claptrap."

On preview: I am not married to arcticwoman.
posted by total warfare frown at 7:14 PM on November 12, 2009

We watch the ball drop on TV.
posted by fixedgear at 7:18 PM on November 12, 2009

Recently, I've celebrated with an Arrested Development marathon. I'll even try to ignore the new year by hiding all the clocks.
posted by mrsshotglass at 7:27 PM on November 12, 2009

For the years prior to having children, my husband and I spent the night at a beachside campgrounds in Northern California for a couple of NYEs in a row. Quiet, empty, beautiful. And really not all that cold but this may not work where you are.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:43 PM on November 12, 2009

Ha! At this point we just play music and party at home with friends, and all the kids of the friends fall asleep in a pile of sorts if they can't last till the ball drops, but I want to go to Juliet Banana's Mexican-side family's house, sounds fun!
posted by bebrave! at 7:43 PM on November 12, 2009

For some reason when I was a kid my mom and I would stay up watching scary movies. Now that I think about this seems like the wrong holiday for it, but it was always fun.

If I was you though, and money really wasn't a factor, I would book the night at a fancypants hotel in town (should you have such things near you) and have a decadent night in. Or even venture out to the hotel bar. Vacation without traveling.
posted by grapesaresour at 9:11 PM on November 12, 2009

Go to New York and watch the ball drop live. Its been on my list of things to do at least once in my life. Reserve ahead, if its not too late already.
posted by Taurid at 9:28 PM on November 12, 2009

I find an interesting event nearby that's happening on NYE and do that. Personally, I prefer things where they don't do a big countdown at midnight, but if it really matters to you pick one that does. Many hotels offer NYE packages if you don't want to do much planning.

I've never called my parents at midnight on NYE or any other day.
posted by yohko at 10:58 PM on November 12, 2009

We eat at our favourite cheap Vietnamese restaurant from our student days, then go toboganning.

Though after reading about articwoman and total warfare frown's tradition, I think we're going to have to work in some pot-banging.
posted by TheLittlestRobot at 11:23 PM on November 12, 2009

We cook/mix/heat up a slew of finger foods (wings, lumpia, spinach dip, etc.), drink way too much eggnog, watch old movies and play games, then fall asleep by 1:00 am. If I'm with my little nieces, then it is Dance Party USA in the living room -- so much fun.
posted by vespertine at 12:53 AM on November 13, 2009

How does your family celebrate New Years Eve? Not at all, though I might make plans for the year, for the rest of the family is business as usual.
posted by b33j at 1:14 AM on November 13, 2009

We used to watch the ball drop on TV, that until a couple of years ago when the local affiliate (WFAA I think) was running commercials at midnight and completely missed midnight and the ball drop. Never again.
posted by crapmatic at 5:58 AM on November 13, 2009

Well, my wife falls asleep at 10, and me and my two daughters eat snacks, make milkshakes, and watch a movie until 11:30. Then we don our new year's party hats, glasses etc.. and watch the ball drop and throw streamers and toot horns. Then we all go to bed at 12:05.
posted by genefinder at 6:56 AM on November 13, 2009

We spent the $75 pp (and will do so again this year) to go to an orchestrated New Years Eve party put on by a local events center. Huge buffet, open bar, two dance floors with two different DJ's. They provided noisemakers and party hats...all we had to do was show up, eat, drink, dance and do the countdown.

It was great because it was all inclusive, warm and well done.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 7:11 AM on November 13, 2009

In our neighborhood, sparklers were very popular to use at midnight outside, but they are technically fireworks and therefore illegal. My neighbor started the tradition of Bubble Wrap - give everyone a large sheet and put it on the driveway. Count down to midnight and start stomping!!
posted by CathyG at 7:11 AM on November 13, 2009

instead of just laying on the couch, watching the ball drop, and then calling our parents at midnight.

Calling your parents - Are you serious?

and what is the Ball everyones talking about? the thought of sitting on a couch watching some televised event is just depressing.

just go out. a bar a party a restaurant... get out of the house.
posted by mary8nne at 7:25 AM on November 13, 2009

Haven't done it in years but Glenwood Springs, Colorado has a New Years Eve celebration. There is something kind of amazing about standing in the warm water with steam rising around you and snowflakes drifting down. Maybe there is something similar in your area. I like to look for hot springs, spas, yoga/meditation retreats, that kind of thing. A couples massage, salt scrub, mud bath sort of thing might be a nice way for you to start the new year.
posted by BoscosMom at 9:58 PM on November 14, 2009

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