Count yourself fortunate if you’ve been able to experience some of our nation’s coast-to-coast New Year’s Eve celebrations, like watching the ball drop in Times Square in New York City, or staying up all night on the famous Rose Parade route in Pasadena, Calif., or partying in the streets or casinos of Las Vegas until dawn, getting a little crazier than usual with your fellow New Year’s Eve revelers.
Those were the days, my friends, but even if you can’t attend any of our nation’s iconic celebrations this year, that is no reason to fold the tent and sit out this season’s ringing in of the New Year.
Indeed, if you’re now a little older and wiser, make this the year to be a little more selective in how you choose to celebrate. Satisfying New Year’s Eve festivities need not only be rowdy, raucous affairs certified by a hangover the next morning. They also can consist of meaningful hours, filled with family, friends and engaging activities leading up to the big event.
Here are some equally sparkling ideas to welcome the new year:
Babysit the Grandkids
If you’re like most grandparents, you never get to see enough of your grandkids. Well, tell your kids that you’ve cleared the night for them so they can go and party the way you once did.
If you’re worried how to keep the little ones entertained all night, stream or pop in the DVD of “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown,” a cute tale about Charlie Brown worrying that he won’t make it to Peppermint Patty’s New Year’s Eve party in time.
Watch a New Year’s Eve-Themed Movie Classic
There are dozens, so you’ll have your pick. To get you started, here are a few favorites:
“Ocean’s 11” – This is the original with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Peter Lawford, and it takes place on New Year’s Eve.)
“The Poseidon Adventure” – What could be better than watching a shipwreck on New Year’s Eve?
“The Apartment”- In the final New Year’s Eve scene, Jack Lemon and Shirley MacLaine deliver the memorable line, “Shut up and deal” in this 1960 Best Picture Oscar winner.
“When Harry Met Sally” – Bring the hankies as two unlikely friends, played by Bill Crystal and Meg Ryan, fall in love at, you guessed it, a New Year’s Eve party.
Instead of waiting for things to happen, why not make things happen. And one of the best ways to do that is to volunteer. Instead of turning the lights out early, fill a need. For example, there’s probably a nearby nonprofit, like a neighborhood soup kitchen, that could certainly use your help. By doing good, you’ll feel good.
Try Out a New Recipe
A New Year calls for something special, something not found on your everyday menu. But you also want to create a dish or appetizer that doesn’t require a lot of fuss or time to throw together.
How about artichoke bruschetta? Prep and cooking time are 20 minutes, leaving you plenty of time for other New Year’s Eve activities.
- 1 6.5-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ½-cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onions
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 French baguette, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
In a medium bowl, mix marinated artichoke hearts, Romano cheese, red onion and mayonnaise. Top French baguette slices with equal amounts of the artichoke heart mixture. Arrange slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Broil for 2 minutes, or until toppings are bubbly and lightly browned.
Do a Little Dance
Turn down the lights, slide a few chairs out of the way to turn your den or family room into a “Dancing with the Stars” ballroom, and command Alexa or other virtual assistant to play your favorite tunes to which you can tango, foxtrot and go cheek-to-cheek with your favorite partner. Channeling your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, you’ll feel younger the moment you take to your impromptu dance floor.
Guess the Resolution
Everybody knows the best time to make a New Year’s resolution is before the new year begins. But here’s a new twist. Invite several friends over and have them write down their resolutions. Place them in a jar. Then read each aloud, asking your guests to guess the author. Each unveiling may stimulate some very interesting discussions: “Why Fred, I never knew you wanted to go sky diving. I thought you hated to fly!”
Take a moment for yourself
Ask yourself – what is going to make this year special? Do you want to live and retire better with a little more cash to do the things you want? Maybe you’ve heard about reverse mortgage loans, but don’t really know what they are or how they work.
Make this the year to find out. To learn more, call your AAG reverse mortgage professional today!
And Happy New Year!