New Year's Eve Ideas For Parents Who Are Too Tired To Go Out

The weather is terrible. The outside world is full of drunk people. There's no reason to feel guilty for staying in.
"Ha, imagine if we were waiting in line to get into a terrible club tonight!"
"Ha, imagine if we were waiting in line to get into a terrible club tonight!"

Remember the good old days, when New Year’s Eve meant spending too much money on glitter and then waiting for hours for a taxi?

For parents who feel like even making it to midnight is the most hardcore move conceivable, there are lots of ways to ring in 2020 without leaving the comfort of your very cosy couch.

Make a nice dinner

Was last year’s resolution to cook more? It’s never too late! Pick out a recipe you’ve been dying to try and get to work. That way, when you collapse on the sofa at 9 p.m., you’ve truly earned it — and when you wake up on Jan. 1, you’re already on your way to completing a resolution.

... or even better, order in

Sushi? Pizza? Thai? If you don’t have the time — or, frankly, the energy — to cook, end the year on a high note with something you know will be delicious.

Pro tip: try to get your order in early, as lots of other homebodies will likely be going this route.

Have a pretend countdown with your kids

If your children are old enough to understand what New Year’s Eve means, but too young to actually stay up till midnight, they’ll probably appreciate having a little new year countdown of their own. There are a whole bunch on Netflix, and you can also find some on YouTube.

Watch: How to help your kids celebrate the new year. Story continues after video.

If your kids don’t want to buy in, consider celebrating the new year in a different time zone — in Europe maybe, or western Africa, or the eastern provinces, if you’re on the West Coast.

Set goals for 2020

Avoid gruelling resolutions like “I’m going to lose 15 pounds” or “I’m going to stop smoking cold-turkey” and opt instead for a goal that adds some fun to your life, like going swimming more often or taking up knitting when you need something to do with your hands.

This is also a good one for kids to join in on. Open-ended goals like “I’m going to be more patient with my brother” is, honestly, more realistic than “I’m never going to fight with him.”

Consider a “family resolution,” too — write down things you’d like to try, or a new 30-day challenge you can take on together.

Watch: How to make fun new year’s resolutions for the whole family. Story continues after video.

And if you (or your kids are so inclined), there are a lot of craft options for resolutions, too.

List your accomplishments for the year

It might feel weird, but try to let go of some of that self-criticism and think about what you’re happy about from the past year. Did you exercise even when you didn’t want to? Were you there for a friend going through a hard time? Did you get through a hard time yourself? Even small moments of grace or compassion are important.

Also: this is also a great habit to start with your kids.

Set up a champagne (or mimosa) bar

If the kids are up, let them drink some (non-alcoholic) sparkling cider. But once they’re asleep, you’re free to get into the good stuff. If you’re with your partner or a friend, a bottle will probably do, but if you’re at a gathering with a few other sleepy parents, why not set up a little champagne bar with various mixes or garnishes?

Watch movies

The weather is terrible. The outside world is full of drunk people. There’s absolute no reason you should feel any degree of guilt about curling up under a blanket and finally getting through all 20 hours of “The Irishman.”

Play board games

Board games are easy, fun, inexpensive, and can be played with or without kids, depending what time of night it is. Easy peasy. Here’s a list of board games the whole family can play.

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