How should I celebrate/mark New Year's Eve/Day on my own?
December 30, 2014 10:43 AM   Subscribe

I want to do something to mark/celebrate the new year. Partying/going out to a bar or other loud event isn't appealing to me this year, and most of my friends are either away or going to an event that isn't a good fit for me. I'm open to places to go on my own and/or things to do at home either on New Year's Eve or during the day on Jan 1st.

-I work until 6:30pm on NYE, and then I have to be at work at 4pm on New Year's day, so going away somewhere isn't an option.
-I live in the Bay Area, specifically the East Bay.
-I have a car
-I can spend some money on this but would rather not spend much (up to $20, or maybe $50 for something awesome)
-I like being outside, but for safety I probably don't want to hang out outside alone when it's dark, at least not anywhere deserted. (I'm a short-ish woman.) I also always get incredibly bored when hiking alone, so hiking is not a good option.
-I'm open to things that involve other people, but I don't want to go someplace with a crowd where I should be "mingling."
-I am a morning person so something to do early in the morning also works.

I'm open to almost anything, but I am looking for something that will feel significant to me. I can totally sit at home with a book or a movie, and that's a fine way to amuse myself, but I'd like to think I did something specifically to mark the new year.
posted by needs more cowbell to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you find some way of leaving the worries/sadness of the past and/or greeting the future? If you have a fireplace, you could burn notes on which you've written the things that caused you pain and release them, or you could gather up your old clothing and donate it to charity.

I start every new year by spending my first amount of money on charity, as the very first thing I do. I won't link it here, but I started a little group called "Your First Dollar Spent" on Facebook, and the only thing we do is tell everyone to give their first dollar of the year to any charity that resonates with them. It always makes me feel good to do that.
posted by xingcat at 10:49 AM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]

Here was my suggestion for a very sad person, but I think it holds up as a great NYE.

Husbunny and I are making fondue and playing Scrabble. But I'm going to take the bath and write the letter and fix up my altar.

I think setting up a lovely ritual is the way to go.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:49 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

This 5k looks pretty fun, if you're at all into that stuff.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:53 AM on December 30, 2014

Start a new long-term project. Ever think of writing a novel? The new year is a great time/excuse to start.
posted by starbreaker at 11:03 AM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

I usually review my year in photos in Picasa or read journal entries from the soon-to-be-ending year and reflect on where I am now compared to then.

Maybe grab a coffee or snack somewhere and leave an extra big tip, as a One Last Good Deed of the year?
posted by Twicketface at 11:07 AM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

I do Ruthless Bunny's routine also, learned here, probably from her but I don't remember. Five or six years ago I had a particularly difficult year that left me with a lot of regrets. I used the advice from another AskMe question to cobble together my own NYE ritual. I clean my house from top to bottom, which takes several hours. While I'm cleaning, I think about all the regrets and other bad things from the last year that I want to let go. As I'm working and thinking, I write them down on little strips of paper. Then the long bath, a bit of pampering, good meal, etc. Before bed, I light the candle and I gather up all the strips of paper. I read them out loud, then say "I'm letting that go now." and I burn the paper in the candle.

I wake up feeling refreshed and renewed and cleansed. I'm not a new-age type person, but this works for me. If any negative thoughts intrude in the next few weeks, I firmly push them away and tell myself "I let that go. This is a new year."

You can personalize it any way you want. And it really works.
posted by raisingsand at 11:09 AM on December 30, 2014 [10 favorites]

Perhaps a movie marathon of films set at New Year's? A small sampling:

Ocean's 11
Holiday Inn
Strange Days
Trading Places
The Poseidon Adventure
The Apartment
When Harry Met Sally
posted by DrAstroZoom at 11:27 AM on December 30, 2014

I'd go to the beach early in the morning if the weather is at all amenable.
posted by mareli at 2:14 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

I like to go to the hot springs and hang out in the hot water all day, or there is a bath house near me where you can soak, sauna, steam and get a massage or a body scrub. If you have something similar near you it's a great way to start the new year.
Reiki would be another option, groupon sometimes has good deals on treatments.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:18 PM on December 30, 2014

I use Susannah Conway's unravel the year Worksheet to close off the year and start out the next one. I tend to work on it in the run up but tend to finish it off on New Year's Eve. I have done it for a couple years now and really enjoy it.
posted by halcyonday at 4:07 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I ended up being pretty tired after work (my job can be pretty physically draining at times) and I tend to be pretty introspective/reflective all year 'round, so I just settled for doing some cleaning and organizing (of both physical stuff email inbox, oddly) which felt like a good, satisfying way to go into the new year. I'll keep all the other things in mind for next year.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:54 PM on January 4, 2015

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