Deb, Diane, Sandra, Mel, and Poppy were quietly slouched on the couch eating celery from a picked-over veggie platter. Several half-empty champagne glasses were scattered across the coffee table with Ryan Seacrest’s image on the TV in the background, the volume muted so as not to wake the kids upstairs.
Deb glanced at her watch again. “Are you fucking kidding me? It’s only 11:38?!”
Tina, Janine, and Shannon had already left the party to relieve their babysitters, Monique ditched the girls to join her husband’s more lively party, and Elizabeth apparently had silent-exited very early in the evening, leaving behind her pan of brownies to throw people off.
“I guess we really are too old to party until midnight,” said Sandra dejectedly. “Whatever happened to our old New Years parties where we were holding each other’s hair while we vomited in a stranger’s bathtub?”
If there’s one holiday per year that proves to be a major letdown amongst adults, it’s New Years. People tend to get it in their heads that New Years parties will be epic. Some are, but more often than not, they prove to be a massive disappointment for a variety of reasons. Poll a room of adults ages 35-and-older at a New Years party and you’ll find that most of them secretly would rather be sleeping than counting down to the beginning of the next Gregorian calendar year.
So how can you avoid such massive disappointment the next time you choose to host a New Years party?
- A great guest list. You need that A-List party animal friend to come, so as to entice others to join in the fun. “Oh shit, Steve and Kathy are coming? Count me in!” At least one very eligible bachelorette as an early confirmed guest also piques people’s interest in attending.
- Booze, booze, more booze, and someone to make the drinks. If there’s one complaint about lame NYE parties, it’s that there weren’t enough options for getting shit-faced. Don’t expect people to mix their own cocktails either. Have someone in charge of pouring, mixing, and refreshing people’s drinks.
- Awesome food made by you or someone reputable! Consider catering from somewhere popular to entice your guests.
- Planned entertainment throughout the night. “Hey dear, check out Trish’s party invite. There will be karaoke in the garage, Trivial Pursuit and poker in the living room, and… an orgy in the bedroom upstairs? Oh, honey, that could be fun, what do you think?”
- Child and/or pet care. “Bring the kids! Duane said he’ll keep an eye on them upstairs and do a ‘kids’ ball-drop at 8:30 before putting them all to bed! Don’t worry, the orgy is across the hall; they shouldn’t be able to hear much.”
- Make sure people know they can crash. No one wants to get to 12:53 and realize they are too drunk to get home and have nowhere to sleep.
- Encourage people to not drive themselves. This way they don’t wind up driving drunk at 2am and landing in jail, and they are forced to stay a little longer than they may have otherwise wanted because it’s hard to get an Uber on New Years Eve.
- Got some cash to spare? Hire a performer of some sort! Singer, dancer, sword-swallower, magician, hypnotist, or stripper will help entertain the crowd and take the pressure off you.
- Set up some sort of photo booth. People seem to love photo booths that print their photo on a strip of paper, for some reason.
- Create a one-time Snapchat filter that guests can use to highlight their night. It’s stupidly expensive and it literally doesn’t last, but people still find it fun.
- Make sure you are very well-rested the day of the party. Sleep in and take a nap, if at all possible. You want to be awake to take in the new year this time.
- Don’t make people dress up fancy, or wear a themed costume of some sort. People hate that shit. Just come as you are.
- Get a bunch of fireworks to set off at midnight, if they are legal in your area.
- And above all, set your expectations low. Very low. “I’m sure this, like every other one of my parties, will be a total dud. I guarantee not more than one person will even step foot in the orgy room.” Assume everyone will be checked out, sleeping, or gone by 10:00, if anyone even shows up at all. That way, if anyone is still left standing at midnight it can be considered a major win!
The following year, Deb and the gals planned ahead and had an epic party reminiscent of their pre-child-bearing days and it was pretty legendary. Diane went home with some dude, Sandra woke up with mysterious blood all over her socks, Mel wound up with a skull-shattering hangover that she couldn’t shake for over 48 hours, and Poppy’s naked toosh wound up all over social media, causing her great shame at the office. It was everything they could have hoped for.
My Hot Take:
New Years parties really are a big letdown, in my experience… especially in my single years. It always wound up being a bunch of dudes sitting around like any other night, only more dejected. In recent years, though, our next-door neighbor has thrown some epic street parties with fireworks.
If you want your New Years Eve party to be a hit, entice your guests with great food, drinks, entertainment, and company.