Photography: Julien Fernandez | Story: Style at Home—How to Decorate for Christmas the French Way
Don't feel like going out partying to celebrate NYE? Same. Here's what you can do instead.
I hate New Year's Eve because I hate forced fun. I hate feeling pressured to have the Best Night Ever™ and I resent the idea that if my celebrations don't live up to a slew of made-up standards, I've failed myself and the upcoming year entirely.
So a few years ago I took fate into my own hands. Tired of parties, hangovers, and playing dress up, I began curating my dream New Year’s—or, as I now like to think of it: an exercise in normcore and simple nothingness. And now I'm here to share how you can achieve it too.
Only hang out with the people you love
My New Year's Eves got exponentially better when I reserved them for the people I love the most. (Yes, even last year when I went to bed at 10:30 after spending most of the holidays sick). No longer did I have to endure small talk, drunken strangers, or enemies I vowed to one day defeat. Finally, I could hang out with people I could be myself around and would understand if I monopolized a shrimp ring and refused to share. So I never looked back. How could I? (Have you ever tried to score more than a handful of shrimp at a house party?)
Speaking of snacks: accumulate only the best ones
Life is too short to tolerate anything but delicious snacks, and I include even the cheapest junk food among them. We spend most of the year consumed with what's healthy, what's the best quality, and/or what we “should” eat, and that's fine—but also, doing that is exhausting, and I refuse to spend New Year's caring about anything outside the number of Red Lobster cheesy scones I can fit in my purse.
Bringing me to my next point: visit normcore/family restaurants
At some point, we all decided we were too good for old-school restaurants, and I'm here to say that was an embarrassing choice on all of our parts. This year, two of my best friends and I are going to gorge ourselves on Ultimate Feasts (unless we're craving Keg-sized steaks). And there's nothing 2018 deserves more than said culinary treasures.
Spend time marathoning the worst (best) TV you can
For a few years, my pals from home and I would congregate around a dozen bowls of chips (or three or four), curl up in front of the television, and treat ourselves to hours and hours of Naked and Afraid—the weirdest and most addictive survival show I've ever seen. Of course, we didn't care about the people competing or about who came out on top, but we certainly cared about our commentary and our jokes because they were hilarious. (And when it was time for the countdown, all of us were pretty annoyed we couldn't watch two strangers rough it without pants on in the desert.)
Have zero expectations
Every time I go into any holiday with biggish expectations, real life pales in comparison when what actually happens fails to measure up. So I've stopped. (Not in real life because that's impossible, but for one night every year I try my best.) Instead, I go into it thinking less of the official Summer Roberts rule from The O.C. (see: how you spend NYE is how the next year will go) and more that it's simply a night. Just one night! And hardly an indicator of the future. My most amped-up New Year's have led into years that broke my heart and saw me cry a lot. My quietest? They were lovely nights. And sometimes, and especially after a busy year, that's enough.