How to celebrate New Year's Eve while house-bound?
December 28, 2011 9:33 PM   Subscribe

My wife loves going out to celebrate New Year's Eve in style, but we've got a three-week-old baby this time around. How do we celebrate at home, just the two (well, three) of us? If you mark the occasion in this style, how do you do it?

In years past we've gone out to dinner, watched a movie or gone to a concert, and finished up watching fireworks or toasting with friends at a party. When I've tried a low-key celebration at home in the past, she hasn't been thrilled, because it doesn't match her perception of New Year's Eve as a glamourous, social occasion.

What methods of marking the occasion of the new year would be compatible with our new lifestyle? Do you have any rituals that we could borrow?
posted by waldo to Human Relations (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
The obvious answer is to dress up your child in the proper New Year's Eve attire and email pictures to all of your friends. Then, grab some sleep while you can and hope that you're awake when midnight rolls around. You will have a three-week-old baby, so chances are that you will be awake. You probably won't be happy about it, either. Don't wear any fancy clothes, because your baby will probably spit up on them. Maybe get some nice massage oils and trade backrubs/footrubs. Perhaps make some fondue.

Overall, though, reflect on all of the awesomeness that you have to look forward to in 2012. My first child was born Dec. 20th, and it was really freakin' hard those first three months, but it gets better and the first year is a blast. Set low-key expectations for NYE and if you exceed them -- good. If not, don't be disappointed.
posted by Ostara at 9:59 PM on December 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Properly set the table and cook a laidback meal?

Don't forgot to include this dish as one of your courses.
posted by ossian at 10:08 PM on December 28, 2011


Pomegranate sparklers! Soak pomegranate seeds overnight in brandy. Put a spoonful in the bottom of a glass of champagne. The seeds will float up and down. Festive!
posted by ocherdraco at 10:25 PM on December 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there a hotel that is having a celebration nearby? We went to a wedding in a city that was a 3 hour flight away when our first was 3.5 weeks old. We stayed in the hotel where the wedding was held. Some friends came by to help babysit. What actually happened was one of us would go downstairs for an hour, mingle, dance, eat/drink while the other stayed upstairs with the little pop Gunn and our friends. Then we would switch. Could you do that on New Years?

Good advice about the not so nice clothes if you are staying at home. I had baby spit up all over my tux at that wedding when I forgot to cover my lap while bouncing the little one. Oops.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:43 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you are up for it at all, invite a few friends over New Year's Day for a relaxed brunch with bagels, lox, caviar, champagne (we like the TJ's Proseco for this) and fresh orange juice!

Have a friend bring all the supplies, of course. That's hassle you don't need right now:)


I love love love having folks over for New Year's Day and it's been a tradition in the past I'm hoping to revive in my new hometown.

Happy New Year!
posted by jbenben at 11:04 PM on December 28, 2011


Would pretending your place is a fancy hotel help? You could get in a massage therapist, hire a nanny for (part of?) the night, order in delicious treats and watch the fireworks on tv/movies set in foreign places?
posted by thylacinthine at 11:45 PM on December 28, 2011


Dress up as if you are going out. really dress up. Full makeup and hair and grooming. Put a nice bottle of champagne in a really elegant champagne bucket with crystal glasses. Set the table with a tablecloth, nice settings, and your best plates. Even if you're watching new years on tv and eating takeout, this makes it more festive. Last year, my boyfriend also picked up some decadent desserts from a high end bakery.
Have fun!
posted by gt2 at 12:06 AM on December 29, 2011


I sound a lot like your wife, and this year we are not doing anything special (well, anything OUT of our house special I mean). My partner has suggested the following, and it has me pretty excited:

We're going shopping during the day for :

-our most favorite, decadent foods - think oysters, caviar, lobster, crab, prawns, desserts, etc.
-candles. LOTS of candles.
-massage oil
-dvds

in the meanwhile, we've created a playlist of "slowdance" music - music we both love to sway to.

On the night:
-We cook/assemble dinner together
-Light a thousand candles everywhere. Fairylights would also work.
-Get SUPER dressed up and chill a bottle of Moet.
-Have super romantic dinner as gt2 says above
-Set up candles all over living room
-Give each other massages whilst watching movies
-Do the countdown at midnight
-Slowdance in candlelight

Good luck and have a great night!
posted by shazzam! at 4:46 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're making Joe Beef's Le Grand Setup de Caviar.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:17 AM on December 29, 2011


When I was in your shoes, I took my baby to a house party in a Moby wrap and we all had a great time.
posted by milk white peacock at 6:31 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get food goodies and have a picnic inside: blanket on the floor, nice music, mood lighting, pillows, and enjoyment of each other.
posted by mightshould at 7:09 AM on December 29, 2011


Have you asked your wife what she wants to do? Because, I used to be your wife. Then I had a baby five weeks before New Year's Eve, and my idea of a fun NYE celebration became "Spend a quiet evening with family and close friends playing board games and dominoes, and eating all the leftover Christmas cookies". Now that is our tradition.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:37 AM on December 29, 2011


Have you asked your wife what she wants to do?
My wife's answer to any question regarding engaging in a frivolous activity (whether dinner out on a Friday night or celebrating Christmas) is that we shouldn't go to the trouble, it's not worth the fuss, so let's just skip it. I learned the hard way that she never, ever means it.

Thanks for some really great suggestions so far, folks! I'd mark them all as best answers, but that seems like an abuse of the system. :)
posted by waldo at 8:15 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


waldo: "I learned the hard way that she never, ever means it."

Omg, you married my mother! Eek.

Wikipedia has a list of New Year's Eve celebrations in different countries. Maybe pick one that represents an ethnicity you share that now makes up Baby Waldo? Or something that reminds you of a favorite trip from the past, or somewhere she's talked about going someday? Or even one that just sounds neat from the description.

A fairly new tradition at my house (although a very old one in general) is trying to create the perfect recipe for black-eyed peas to eat on New Year's Day.

My family growing up also had a superstition that the state of your house at midnight on New Year's Eve represented how it was going to look all year. So my mother would have us all frantically cleaning as midnight approached. I don't recommend it for you, but maybe you could incorporate the idea somehow, that how things are at midnight will carry on for the year.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:29 AM on December 29, 2011


Nnthing those who said DO dress up, get wine or something decadent, and glam it up - at home, if you have to.

Sorry, but the last thing a new mama needs (IME) is to sit around in grubby clothes and go to bed early on New Years. It's what everyone expects to happen, and it makes you feel like the epitome' of the cliche when it happens to you. You know... "my life as a young exciting person is officially over, it's time for spit up and diapers to rule my life and I will have gray hair within the year." Some of that's true, of course; but you have to find the balance, and New Years is not the time to succumb to it.

I had a baby in September last year and there was no way we were going out for New Year; but I DID get crazy dressed up, for no reason; I drank half a bottle of wine, gave the nursing baby pumped milk in a bottle so she wouldn't grow up a lush and all (oh, bad parenting) and played loud music and made my SO think I was completely nuts. But it was one of the best nights of the year, hands down.

Your baby will be younger than mine was, but still. Whatever makes your wife feel glamerous and fun and happy, if you can make it happen somehow, do it! Dinner party with friends, dinner party with just you two (3), pretty clothes, candles, nice food, sparkles, whatever. Take pictures. Write down resolutions or yearly blessings. Do something "special" to look back on and say "hey, remember when x was a newborn but we still had a crazy new years and were all silly and got dressed up at home? that was fun."
posted by celtalitha at 2:22 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a great one when we had our first kid- he was 5 months old at the time. We did up some caviar and, before 12:00 arrived, we buried a time capsule with moments of our last 5 months and questions for the future. We are to dig it up 8 years from now and I look forward to that day.

We all went to bed at 12:30 am but had a great time with the baby and we still talk about that night to this day.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:14 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


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