Making New Year’s Eve Plans to Start 2017 Off Right

young adults at a party with lights and sparklers

Stay safe this New Year’s Eve.

We all enjoy a good New Year’s Eve party. What better way to round off a week of holiday cheer than by celebrating with your friends! But in the midst of all the celebration, sometimes we go too far and end up starting the new year with some regrets—or maybe just a really nasty hangover.

As you make your New Year’s Eve plans, think about ways to make the night fun for all—and to start 2017 on a high note.

Stay in or stay over.

If you’ve had a busy, festive week, you may want to make quieter plans for New Year’s. Plan a low-key night of popcorn and movies with your friends. Or if you’re ambitious try hosting a special dinner party.

If you decide to host a bigger bash, think about offering your guests a place to crash for the night. Alcohol isn’t the only concern. The roads get icy this time of year, and you don’t want to drive them when you’re half-asleep.

Look out for your friends.

Keep an eye on those you came with or those you invited. If someone looks like they’ve had too much, make sure they get home safe. Ride share services like Uber make it easier than ever to ensure your friends don’t get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t.

Remember this if you hit up a club, as well. Even in 2016, the world isn’t as safe a place as we’d like to think. Make sure that you leave with all the people you came with. Or, if you part ways, make sure you know where everyone is going and that they’re sober enough to be making good decisions.

Provide some alcohol-free beverages.

If you’re hosting a party—or if you’re attending but bringing a drink—think about some alcohol-free options. Don’t mistake us: many of us are plenty fond of a good old fashioned or a shot of brandy in our egg nog. But having a few nice, alcohol-free beverages available that don’t feel like a boring afterthought is important for several reasons.

Many people choose not to drink for personal reasons, or they may have offered to be the designated driver. Pregnant women or those taking certain medications usually avoid drinking on doctor’s orders. Others simply don’t like the taste of alcohol. At the very least, have something around as a backup option for people who want to have a drink in their hands, but worry about having too much.

Be inclusive.

Many of us get nostalgic around the holidays. As the old year ends and the new year begins, we like to think about where our lives are at and where they’re headed. For many of us, these are good feelings. But for those who’ve had a hard year, or who struggle with seasonal depression, this could be a trying time.

Reach out to anyone you know who may be feeling down, and make sure they know how much you appreciated them this year. Make plans that will help you close 2016 on a good note, and start the new year as you mean to continue it.

Iris Proctor
Iris is the director of ArborWoman.