by Sophie Whitehead
A slightly pessimistic guide on how to ensure this New Year's is better than the last.
New Year's Eve is often the most problematic event on my calendar. Ironic you might think? Well this is not always the case. Normally when an event has a certain amount of hype building up to it, with the forced expectation, much like in some ways Christmas, that there WILL be laughter, there WILL be happiness, there WILL be love….there often isn't as much of it as originally thought. The reason for this? Who knows. But one things certain and that’s that whenever there are forced expectations, generally the act of spontaneity doesn't strive too well. The pressure to have a good time on New Years is often, quite bluntly, just downright overwhelming and in some ways suffocating. Mix with this the idea of trivial matters such as ‘who to kiss at midnight’ and the matter soon escalates to something disproportionally terrifying. The problem with New Years, and the real differentiator between this holiday and Christmas is there tends to be no reward for personal effort - no matter if you’re the host or even the attendee no one congratulates you on the effort you have put into the evening - if anything the more effort you do put into it, the less you get out of it. For example, if you’re the host more often than not, you’re just left at 2am far less intoxicated than the rest with a scarring amount of cleaning up to do tomorrow. The dog is shut in the room upstairs and has been howling all night, and you’re marginally worried whether you let out the cat seven hours earlier and they’re enjoying the festivities with another household somewhere…
However, no matter how you find yourself this New Years; whether that be single, in a relationship or jumping in between, nothing should hold you back on ensuring that this year, the big 2K16, is filled with happiness, love or whatever your personal mantra is (mine happens to be to work hard and play harder but that’s just me.)
I cannot help you with all the specifics, that my friends I leave purely down to you, but I can offer a few words of suggestion that I have accumulated in my mere eighteen years of life. Enjoy:
Tips for anyone:
1) Cash that favour in with your friend The Taxi Man. You don’t want to find yourself highly intoxicated at five past three in the morning desperately searching for a way to get home. If, like me, you don’t know any taxi people, book at least a month before to ensure you get the most trustable site and the most trustable rate. Trust me.
2) Don’t drink too much. There’s one thing feeling a little down this New Years but another feeling like a complete fool. Sat in A&E is not the answer to your woes! Here is where another parties going on; mixed with fancy dress, people talking gibberish, hall ways completely overcrowded and jammed full of disheveled but well dressed people. This strangely happens to look remarkably like the party you’ve just left…but remember IT’S NOT. Avoid the severe overhead lighting and the once-polished floors for pity’s sake. For me—?
3) —Saying that however…make sure you drink enough! (obviously this applies only to those 18+) New Years Day tends to have a far more sombre feel than New Years Eve. The headaches are churning and bouts of shame, guilt or regret over last nights activities may just be creeping there way towards the surface. Make the most of the one night a year where everyone that isn't tee-total will be in the same boat as you and ready to enjoy the festivities. Try and just relax and see where the evening takes you.
4) New Years at home? PERFECTLY FINE. Little needs to be said except for the fact that whether you are a bit of a jet setter and fancy an evening to chill or even if its part of your daily routine, sometimes nothing can beat the comfort of being chez moi with some good champagne, friends, the log fire burning and witnessing the festivities of London right on your doorstep… Saying this don’t worry if you don’t have a log fire, you don’t need one.
5) I’d avoid making any resolutions until January 1st, perhaps 2nd, rather than actual New Years Eve. There is nothing more depressing than breaking a resolution that you’ve had for approximately twenty two and half minutes. Instead finish the year with whatever you’ve been doing for the rest of it and prepare for January 1st to be the start of the bigger and better YOU.
6) …On this note. Please if your resolution for 2015 happened to be to learn to play the oboe, learn to sing opera or bake a quiche… unless you’ve progressed to a point where you can actually mesmerise all your guests; tonight is not the night to demonstrate to all how far you’ve come in accomplishing this almighty goal. Save it for tomorrow.
7) Finally make sure you bring in the new year the only proper way and engage in the Scottish tradition of ‘First Footing.’ Not only is it great fun to load up a tray with various objects that represent something you’d like to find in the coming year but even today theres something semi-mystical about walking in your front door loaded with goods. Give it a whirl, there’s not a lot to lose but definitely much to gain.
A quick note especially for any singletons:
1) Firstly the bottom line is that in many ways you have the best deal. Party. Hard. With your closest friends you don’t have to worry in any way that you will be tied down by someone. Another thing, ensure that any negative tension that has collected up in the year; whether it be the feud with your best girl friend that has never gone away or a problem with the ex, is well and truly sorted out for good. If this New Years is going to be anything better than last, you need to start focussing on yourself and true happiness only comes from complete satisfaction within.
2) As this is my eighteenth New Years being very much single, some words of advice? Approach the evening with the lowest possible expectations - that way you can never come out of it thinking that it would have been any better than it was - everything is simply seen as a success. Moreover, remember, bar celebrating the obsolescence of one wall calendar and the coronation of a new one, if the evening isn't a great success don’t worry. Or perhaps that’s just my pessimistic view. Most older rites associated with the date of New Years dated back to pagan tradition when it was celebrated on the 25th March, bang in the middle of summer. This year New Years falls on a Thursday, so if you want something slightly smaller to celebrate - the end of the week is always a good start?
3) If you’re feeling emotional…lay off the booze. New Years, no matter what people say, doesn't tend to be the best time to be keeping inventory in your mind of all your past failures. Clear the issue - yes. Ensure you do it when you’re slightly more sober - even better. Trust me that sparkling elderflower with a little raspberry might just be your best friend. You’ll avoid the pain all will face the next day and get one of your five a day. Perfect.
4) But…it actually IS okay to cry. At a normal dinner party crying would tend to be a no-go but at New Years when so much else is occurring, crying might actually be embraced as a semi-normal reaction. If worst comes to the worst you can put it down to allergies to your friends cat but to be honest, you probably wont need to. New Years can actually be quite emotional, especially if its been an exceptionally brilliant or, and hoping this isn't the case, terrible year so the occasional tear won’t hurt and can actually be seen as the least objectionable response compared to what some might be doing.
So on that note, I wish you all a very Happy New Year's.
Ensure that this year is the best it can possibly be but don’t worry if its not. All works out in the end.