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new ways to ring in the 
ew year
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2
continued from page 1

2 have a camp-in
A variation on the pajama party, the camp-in is another sleepover party at which sleeping bags will be de rigueur. There might be snow on the ground outdoors, but there's no reason in the world you can't bring the camp inside. For an indoor camp-in, you will, however, need a fireplace. Build up a nice fire, make some s'mores, toast up some hot dogs and enjoy the pleasant crackle of the flames. Go nuts with glow-in-the-dark stars and turn your ceiling into the night sky. Get comfy in flannel and long johns, pour yourselves a big mug of hot (spiked) cocoa, tell a ghost story or two (or take advantage of the fact that you have electricity and rent some scary movies instead), and enjoy the great indoors with your friends.

3 Cook up a feast with a few good pals
There's only one thing that beats sharing a phenomenally good spread with friends -- making the meal ensemble as well. Unless you happen to have a kitchen that can accommodate more than a handful of busy cooks, of course, this works best with a very small group of friends. Decide what you want to cook ahead of time, and stock up on the goods. Come New Year's Eve, throw on some music, pour everyone a drink, then divvy up the responsibilities and get cooking. Let good food and good conversation guide you into the new year.

4 Make a getaway
We're not talking anything big here, like a voyage to Paris or Rome or Antarctica or anything. (Though, if you can swing that, I'm terribly jealous.) But New Year's Eve offers the perfect opportunity to sneak away from the crowds at home, and seek something a little cozier, a little quieter, a lot more intimate. Head to the mountains, head to the ocean, head anywhere that's away from the multitudes. Go with your sweetie, or bring a couple of close friends. One of the best New Year's Eves I ever spent was in a little town in Cape Cod in which the depths of the off-season meant that there was not a single thing going on in town. Sure, we could have made the drive to always-lively P-town, but instead, we spent the evening by a fire in my boy's grandparents' rental house. With plenty of wine, a few good friends, and a pile of board games, we rang in the New Year quietly, but thoroughly enjoyably.

5 Throw an after-party
So your best friends are throwing the traditional hoity-toity New Year's Eve bash, and despite the fact that your mood is running towards something a little more chill, you feel obligated to attend? Give yourself something to look forward to, and host a day-after party on January 1st. Make it a laidback affair where you invite your favorite folks over to commiserate in your mutual hangover hell. Have a few no-brain-required videos on hand, plenty of water and aspirin, lots of throw pillows and lounge space, and some hangover-friendly eats for when your bellies begin to recover.

Whatever you choose to do this December 31st, may you find yourself celebrating in whatever manner genuinely suits your fancy. Happy new year to all!


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