People tend to have a lot of expectations for New Year’s Eve. It’s a night meant for merry revelry and final indulgences before the clock resets for a brand new year, after all. Because Dec. 31 is designated a night of celebration, you may feel compelled to go out on the town to a restaurant serving New Year’s Eve dinner, a bustling bar or to a house party. However, we are here to tell you that going out on New Year’s Eve is massively overrated, and there are a lot of good reasons why you should just stay in and celebrate in the comfort of your own home.
New Year’s Eve, much like Halloween, your birthday or the Fourth of July, is one of those holidays that makes people feel pressured to have the most fun possible. To end the year “right,” you need to drink a lot, eat a lot and spend time with a lot of people in a place that’s much, much cooler than the places you usually frequent. These kinds of nights tend to play out less grandly than expected — big pressure and big plans can often lead to disappointment or sloppiness. If you stay in, you’re in charge of the kind of evening you are going to have.
Because New Year’s Eve comes less than one week after Christmas Day, plans tend to come together at the very last moment. One major celebration just happened, and suddenly you have to make restaurant reservations, scramble to find bars or clubs that won’t be insanely packed or try to put together a party at the last minute. If you stay in, your plans involve just figuring out what to eat and what to watch on TV, you know, like a normal evening in.
New Year’s Eve is right at the start of winter. And you know what winter means? It’s cold. It’s snowy. It’s icy. If you stay home — and thus stay indoors — on New Year’s Eve, you don’t have to worry about wearing a bulky coat over your sparkly party dress, slipping on ice in your high heels or getting stranded in your car in the middle of a snowstorm. You’ll be nice and cozy in your pajama pants and slippers, perhaps in front of a roaring fireplace.
If you have kids and want to go out on New Year’s Eve, good luck finding a babysitter. While those who have kids need to worry about whether or not that 13-year-old neighbor is actually responsible enough to look after their little ones, if you stay at home, you can spend New Year’s Eve together with your children and enjoy the night with them.
New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars, and they know this. So you can expect $40 cover charges and lines down the block to get into that dive bar you go to any ol’ night of the week at any other time of the year for free. After waiting in a long line in the freezing cold and dishing out your hard-earned dollars for the pleasure of bar admission, you’ll end up in a sea of loud drunks as you struggle to get a single Bud Light from a frustrated, overworked bartender.
New Year’s Eve is also a bustling day for restaurants, and while a lot of chain restaurants will be open and serving their standard menus, other restaurants will have special prix fixe menus and cocktails just for the night. If you’re at an open bar, there may be limited offerings. If you stay home, you can cook a steak just like a chef and drink whatever Champagne, prosecco or sparkling wine you want with no worry.
Those specialty prix fixe menus are going to cost you a pretty penny. Even if you just go to a small family-owned spot, you’ll feel like you’re at one of the most expensive restaurants in America. If you cook at home, you’re going to save a ton of money on food and drink. And you can still cook a restaurant-level meal on your own.
If New Year’s Eve means drinking as much as you possibly can at a bar you paid big bucks to get into, that means New Year’s Day is for hangovers. An evening at home is more likely to be a low-key affair. So while you may have some celebratory Champagne or a few beers, you probably won’t get so drunk that you’ll start the New Year with a pounding headache and an upset stomach.
Maybe you toast to every last hour of the year with a new drink or small gift, maybe you play board games by the fireplace or maybe you snuggle up and eat fondue while watching the Times Square ball drop on TV. Better yet, maybe you do none of these things and just prefer to be in bed by 10 p.m. and get eight hours of sleep. If you stay home, you can happily do whatever you want on Dec. 31.
Good luck trying to get home safely on New Year’s Eve. Not only can road conditions be dangerous, New Year’s Eve is one of the deadliest nights of the year on the road. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more people are likely to die on New Year’s Eve due to alcohol-related accidents than any other midweek winter evenings. If you try to be safe on New Year’s, you can expect massive surge pricing on car-share services like Uber and Lyft. Public transit, like the roads, is likely to be packed and full of people who you’d rather not necessarily sit next to at 3 a.m. But if you still insist on going out despite how miserable New Year’s Eve in public can be, there are plenty of reasons why people do enjoy going out on New Year’s Eve.
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