December 31, 2021 9:40:30 pm
Written by Gina Cherelus, André Wheeler and Anna P Kambhampaty
When widespread testing and vaccines became available to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the hope of a traditional holiday season, or at least a safe one, felt possible. Many people made plans to travel, host or hop from soiree to soiree, only to watch those plans unravel faster than the value of Ethereum changes.
The rapid spread of the omicron variant this month has forced many to alter their New Year’s Eve hopes, separating whole families from each other and even individual family members from one another. Unfortunately, like a cruel repeat of last year’s holiday season, if you like to mark the end of the calendar year with a bang, the safest bet is probably the socially distanced one.
But there’s no reason it can’t still be festive(-ish), right? If you’re feeling up to it, try to muster every last shred of energy you have left and kiss this year goodbye. Pull out the party outfit you were planning to wear before omicron intervened and lounge comfortably in your living room.
Here are stylish ideas for keeping your spirits up if you’re stuck at home — while hopefully feeling healthy!
Dress for a big mood
You can still make a quiet evening indoors feel special by wearing an extravagant party dress or a fancy suit, even if technically no one will see it in person. Spritz your favorite perfume or cologne to set the mood. Try on your hottest, but sometimes uncomfortable, dress shoes — you won’t have to worry about standing on your feet all night at this party.
Take as many selfies as needed to nail the perfect shot and consider texting it to your mom, dad, grandma or whoever fills those roles in your life. Unlike your ex, they will appreciate it and be happy to see you looking good. Bask in their affirmations.
If you’re home with others, encourage them to participate, too. Make it 1970s-themed or pick a color scheme to work around. Use this time to experiment with a bold hairdo or a makeup trick you’ve been curious about (just steer clear of the scissors — you do not want to wake up with spontaneous bangs in 2022).
Dust off your eye shadow palette and comb through YouTube for tutorials. Try out the latest viral beauty trends within the comfort of home. Social media is ripe with tutorials on how to achieve “velvet nails” through the use of flocking powder (which can be found in most craft aisles). Or join in on the Gen Z trend of “nose blush,” which is exactly what it sounds like. If it doesn’t look good, no one will ever know.
Make a champagne tower for one
Get ambitious: Champagne cocktails spice up a New Year’s Eve celebration at home, and as Mark Bittman writes, they are “appropriately celebratory and bittersweet.” If that’s not your speed, grab some bourbon, scotch or whiskey for a hot toddy, or make a fragrant pot of mulled wine that’ll leave your home smelling like citrus and spices.
And if you’re not drinking alcohol, try a great booze-free alternative like unspiked eggnog, cider or chilled soda water mixed with your favorite juice or tea.
Make an elaborate seafood platter, complete with an at-home delivery of caviar, shrimp and fresh Massachusetts oysters. Or make your own gumbo, which can be found on the NYT Cooking guide for New Year’s Eve and Day recipes.
Or if you’re going hard on the outfit and can’t be bothered in the kitchen, treat yourself with takeout. Just be sure to order ahead of time.
Pregame your entertainment
Instead of spending half the night digging through streaming services for a film or show to watch, consider these style-minded picks that’ll transport you to a different world:
— “Phantom Thread” (The film’s score is a mood, too!)
— “La Notte” (Live vicariously as chic, angsty Italians who party all night.)
— “Sylvie’s Love” (Romance! Romance! And did we mention romance?)
— “In the Mood for Love” (A heartfelt love story set in Hong Kong.)
— “House of Gucci” (Lady Gaga and Gucci … pair this with your Champagne tower.)
— “Emily in Paris” (Binge all day. At least someone is in Paris having fun.)
Pick a film to make your annual tradition
Is there a movie you could watch a million times? Maybe even recite? If you can’t be with the ones you love, FaceTime them and watch your favorite films together. Anything that takes place around the holidays, like “When Harry Met Sally” or “Rent,” make good go-to’s.
Pull up to a virtual event
In 2020, some of the hottest New Year’s Eve events pivoted to live streams. The same goes for this year. Last year, global pop acts BTS, Justin Bieber and Dua Lipa performed virtual concerts. The online queer dance party Club Quarantine hosted a Zoom rave.
This year, you can attend an assortment of hybrid live-virtual gatherings. A number of in-person events, like the famed Times Square ball drop in New York and LA’s Grand Park party, will include virtual components that feature all the glitz and none of the crowds.
The bold and adventurous can step into a metaverse, such as Decentraland, a decentralized virtual reality platform backed by the Ethereum blockchain, or Facebook’s Horizon Worlds, and enjoy a multitude of virtual reality celebrations:
— TikTok, the trend-making social media app that dethroned Google as the most visited site this year, will stream a high-production special on its app. Musical acts Charlie Puth, Rico Nasty and Kali Uchis will perform.
— Cord-cutters can stream New Year’s Eve specials through a variety of platforms. Some standouts include: a star-studded special from Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson on Peacock; Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen’s countdown on CNNgo; and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” on ABC Live.
— Those in search of higher-brow culture can listen to NPR’s daylong orchestral performance, which will air from Vienna’s renowned Musikverein concert hall.
— For a more upbeat vibe, look to San Francisco’s The Speakeasy. It is hosting a lush stream filled with cabaret acts, live music and dancing. Tickets cost $75.
— Looking for a more kid-friendly option? The Seattle Aquarium is hosting a daytime event, starting at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time Friday that will feature fun zoology lessons and a dance party. There’s even a “countdown” at noon.
Forgo the airplane, go for airplane mode
If you can do so safely, consider taking a jaunt to a quaint cabin for a change of scenery with the potential of s’mores. Or go on an early morning drive to a nearby beach or park with blankets and a warm mug to catch the calming tides and sunrise.
Can’t get away? Stepping away from your personal devices for the night might feel like an escape, too.
If all else fails, go for good old self-care
Draw a bath, light a candle (currently all the rage on TikTok) and indulge in a multistep skin care routine. You could also stock up on CBD-infused products like body lotions and face serums. The category was a runaway wellness and beauty trend of 2021.
Once you’re done experimenting, cozy up in bed with a long, impenetrable book that will put you right to sleep. Because nothing is better for facing a new year than waking up well rested.
The most important thing: Go easy on yourself. Here’s to 2022!
(This article originally appeared in The New York Times.)
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