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To go or not to go, that is always the question.

Nine times out of ten, I choose sweatpants and Netflix, but on New Year’s Eve, do you really want to miss the biggest party of the night?

Hosting your own New Year’s Eve party can be the best night of the year… or a complete disaster. Consider these five critical New Year’s Eve party tips before deciding to host one, attend one, or Skype into one a little tipsy.

Food for a New Year’s Eve Party

This is always the most important part of any party, in my opinion. Plus, when you know you’re going to be drinking a lot, you need to be sure you start with a decent meal.

Go out

My number one New Year’s Eve party tip is to plan early and save your pennies. Going out on New Year’s Eve is going to be crowded and expensive and you’ll definitely need a reservation.

You should get ready to shell out the big bucks, especially for any holiday specials, or desserts, because it’s the last day before your big diet. Just stay goodbye to whatever droplets of money you had left after the holidays.

Stay in

If you stay in you can literally make or order whatever you want. You could make a big fancy meal and invite fancy friends to eat fancy food, or you could let your phone do the work and order Chinese and doughnuts.

It’s all up to you. Either way, it’s probably cheaper than the itty-bitty slice of salmon or the ahi tuna nachos you’ll spend $50 on downtown.

Drinks for New Year’s Eve Parties

Hallelujah for a national drinking holiday! It’s time to enjoy the night – you have an entire day dedicated to doctoring a hangover before you have to go to work.

Go out

The experience of going out drinking on New Year’s is an absolute blast, it’s a party everywhere you go!

But it’s just expensive, so expensive. Many clubs and venues offer “deals” for NYE that claim drinks are included, but the cover fees alone can be astronomical and beware of fine print. Most exclude shots and energy drinks (AKA: fuel).

Stay in

You can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine, but ‘tis the season for champagne.

Providing booze for a crowd might be more expensive than going out. Instead, ask everyone to bring a bottle (or two), and get fancy with it, with holiday-themed drinks with added sparkle and shine on the rim!

Of course, don’t forget the holiday mimosas for the morning after. You can thank me later for that critical New Year’s Eve party tip.

New Year’s Eve Party Outfits

Do you want to be smokin’ hot or comfortable? We all know you can’t be both because – Spanx.

Go out

If you go out, choose all the sparkles, all the glitter. Nothing is over the top for a party night. A walking disco ball is usually the look you’re going for.

However, take the weather into account because we all know you’re not going to wear a jacket with your sparkly dress and if you’re anywhere within the continental United States, there’s a good chance you’ll freeze your ass off (be quiet California).

Stay in

Stay in your leggings, enjoy the night in pajamas, sweatpants, or wear nothing at all, (it’s your house after all). Fun New Year’s Eve party tip: Add a touch of glitter to your face, to be festive.

Dancing/Entertainment at a New Year’s Eve Party

No pressure, but this is the last night of this year and the first night of next year all in one, how are you going to spend it?

Go out

This is arguably the best part of going out. Everywhere you go is a giant party and no other night of the year can you expect to get one full ton of confetti dropped on your head in the middle of the street. Everyone is optimistic and carefree and ready for an evening of dancing, drinking, laughing the night away with friends and strangers alike.

Stay in

You can enjoy the same party atmosphere, the same dancing, drinking, laughing the night away but without the strangers. But then someone has to buy the drinks.

If you choose to stay in, have a few fun New Year’s Eve party games like the classic kiss countdown.

Kiss Countdown
Ingredients: Several bags of Hershey Kisses
To Play: Hand each female guest 5-7 Hershey Kisses as they enter. Once everyone arrives, explain that the object of the game is for the male guests to get as many kisses as they can. The females are the only ones who can give kisses, so this means the men must compete in all means necessary (serenading, duels to the death, and so on).
At the end of the night, the male guest with the most kisses wins a fabulous prize. (A $20-25 gift card or a case of good beer would create some fierce competition!)
The fun twist? The male winner chooses the female winner (most likely the one who gave him the most kisses), so this encourages competition among the women as well!

Let’s be honest, there are worse ways to try to kiss your crush.

What to Expect During the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

Although Times Square might be thousands of miles away, the entire country waits for it to make its trek down the pole. The ball drop is a quintessential part of New Year’s Eve, no matter where you are.

Go out

Most bars have some sort of celebration and countdown for the ball drop. Do your research so you end up exactly where you want to be when the countdown begins complete with confetti and sometimes even free champagne. (New Year’s Eve party tip: read the fine print on any venue you plan on attending, hidden costs are EVERYWHERE).

Stay in

Let’s be honest, you’ll probably be asleep before it happens.

Throw some torn-up napkins in the air and call it a night. If you’re hosting a party, be courteous and do your best to actually wait until your guests leave to pass out on your couch, hugging the last bottle of champagne.

New Year’s Day: The Aftermath

You’ve had your fancy dinner, you’ve drunk all the drinks, screamed your countdown, and kissed a stranger.

Now what?

This is perhaps the most important New Year’s Eve party tip because if you don’t plan the end from the beginning, you’ll be in trouble.

Go Out

Driving home is not an option, so now it’s time to hail a cab, call an Uber, take the bus, or hope your designated driver actually maintained their designated status. Plan for this ahead of time and have a car ready because chances are, you’re not going to be in any condition to get yourself home.

Stay In

Close your eyes. If you really want to make an effort, you could walk down to the hallway to your actual bed. But as long as you’re in your own house (or a friend’s place), you can feel comfortable and safe crashing anywhere you end up, the floor, hallway, couch, porch, just avoid the roof.

Trust me, it’s not as awesome of an idea as it sounds.

A night out on the town with glitz and glamour and every other person on the planet. Or a night in with comfortable fashion, humans you actually know and avoiding the madness…

Either way, you’ve already won, as far as I’m concerned.

According to statistics, more and more people are choosing to spend New Year’s Eve inside because it’s generally cheaper, easier, (and safer). Plus, you can choose the people with whom you send off the year with.

Whether you choose to go out or stay in, New Year’s Eve is always a success when your January 1st “fresh start” begins with a headache, nausea, and a bucket full of junk food to battle that hangover.

Happy New Year, bitches!