How to safely ring in 2021 from home

Media Credit: Camille DeSanto | Assistant Photo Editor

Say goodbye to 2020 with a decadent takeout order, a bottle of champagne and the Times Square Ball Drop.

You may not be able to kiss someone on New Year’s Eve or pop champagne with strangers this year, but don’t let that get in the way of having fun. 

From festive eats to New Year’s-themed broadcasts, here’s how you can make the night memorable from the safety of your home.

Get the people you live with excited

Whether it’s your roommates, family or cat, you can still celebrate with loved ones this year — just in smaller numbers. 

The people you live with might be burnt out from the holiday season or simply spending time with one another. But if there were ever a time to rally, it’s New Year’s Eve. If you want your night to be more exciting than sitting on the couch trying to stay awake for the ball drop, you’ll need to get everyone in your house pumped for a night of festivities.

One way to inspire some enthusiasm would be to assign everyone tasks to prep for the night. Someone can be in charge of food, another alcohol and someone else can get activities like photos and games planned. You could put someone in charge of planning the grocery list, hitting the store, ordering the food, picking party games or setting up a photo backdrop. 

Extravagant takeout menu

Holiday cooking might have you sick at the sight of your kitchen. That’s OK. Pick up your phone and browse the menus of your favorite restaurants in town. 

This isn’t the night to be modest with the Grubhub bill, either. Think about the money you’d usually spend club hopping and Ubering around town on New Year’s Eve and redirect those funds to an indulgent takeout meal. If you live in D.C., here is a list by Eater DC of restaurants offering special deals on New Year’s Eve.

If you want to make the experience of ordering food more exciting, have each person order takeout for a different course: appetizers, main course, dessert and late-night snacks. 

Appetizers all day

If you’re a die-hard foodie or just want to try out new recipes from your favorite food blogger or culinary magazine, opt for making appetizers throughout the night instead of laboring over a huge dinner.

Here’s a couple recipe ideas for inspiration:

Creamy Goat Cheese, Bacon and Date Dip from NYT Cooking

What you’ll need:

  • 10 ounces of goat cheese at room temperature
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 ounces  of thick-cut bacon, cut into one-half inch pieces
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • Top with honey, red pepper flakes, black pepper, flaky salt or toasted chopped nuts of choice
  • Crusty bread or crackers to serve

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the cheese and lemon juice. Add in salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to a 1 quart baking dish, spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling. While this bakes, cook bacon pieces in a skillet on medium-low heat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from the skillet and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Using the rendered bacon fat, lightly sauté the date pieces for one minute or until hot and crackling. Top the baked cheese with bacon and dates. Add garnishes and serve.

3 Ingredient Cheesy Pizza Pretzels from Half Baked Harvest

What you’ll need

  • 12 small pretzel twists
  • 12 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 slices pepperoni
  • Optional grated asiago cheese 
  • Optional chopped parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange pretzels on the baking sheet and add pepperoni and cheese slices. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is crispy. Top with asiago and parsley and serve.

Get dressed up

Who says you have to be going out to show off your sparkliest, most eye-catching party outfit? Browse your closet for an outfit worthy of the camera. Pick out your fancy shoes, main character fit and fun accessories to get dressed up for the night. If you wear make-up, follow a New Year’s Eve make-up tutorial from Glamour magazine, YouTube or TikTok

After you and your roommates are all glammed up, it’s time to whip out the camera. Your apartment or house is now your photoshoot space. You can even create a photo backdrop with things like balloons and streamers

Pop champagne

This one’s a given, but you’ve got to time it right. Make sure to stock up on plenty of champagne this morning before you head into your celebratory night in. It’s way more exciting to pop the champagne as a marker of the new year than to plow through the bottles early in the night.

That being said, you’ll want to stock up on your household’s favorite seltzers, wine and liquor to get the party going early.

You could even dive into some 2020-themed drinking games to commemorate this chaotic year coming to a close. Try turning on any of the New Year’s Eve TV specials that will be airing on various cable channels like ABC and TBS and taking a shot or sip of your drink every time the pandemic, a celebrity’s death, the presidential election or civil unrest is mentioned. 

Celebrate as different countries ring in the new year

Watch fireworks from Sydney, Australia

You can tune into a livestream of the celebratory New Year’s Eve fireworks here.

Watch France’s New Year’s Eve show live from Paris

Stream the night’s festivities with English commentary here.

Watch Russia’s New Year’s Eve festivities 

For the first time in history, watch Russian New Year’s Eve festivities live from the Red Square on its state-sponsored TV network Perviy Kanal.

Watch fireworks from Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Watch a firework show from the world’s tallest building located in Dubai here.

Watch the Times Square Ball Drop

As per tradition, make sure and have your TV tuned into ABC around 11 p.m. to watch as anticipation builds for the ball drop at midnight. Although there won’t be a giant crowd in Times Square to celebrate the drop, the tradition is still on schedule. You can tune in earlier if you want to catch live music performances by artists like Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Machine Gun Kelly.

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