How to celebrate the new year

By Charlie Mason

2020… a Year Like No Other!

 

This year has definitely been a crazy one. A lot has happened, and the long-term effects of everything that has taken place will be felt for quite some time. Despite all we’ve overcome, we are all still merrily, here, happy, and in good health. What better time of the year to celebrate everything we are grateful for and have overcome than the New Year? Even though the typical way of celebrating may need to be amended a bit, congratulating yourself and others is very much called for!

Here are some ways to celebrate, 2020 (2021?) style!

Cook a traditional family dish with loved ones

Holidays are known for their homey and comforting meals. One of the first things that comes to mind when the holiday season is mentioned is a large table, complete with delicious food that can be enjoyed with pleasant company. While having guests over is complicated this year, that doesn’t mean preparing and cooking dinner with your family is out of the question! In fact, it could be a potentially very fun bonding experience. Also, there are plenty of possibilities for fun, such as who can best decorate a cookie, or who can eat the most mashed potatoes (be careful!).

Cook a traditional family dish with loved ones you cannot see in person via video chat

 

For many of us, we cannot physically be with our friends and family. But that doesn’t exclude the previous option! Cooking over video chat can be just as entertaining and fun. Pick a meal, or maybe even a couple different ones, and have fun following the recipe and comparing results. If you don’t really feel like putting in that much effort however, ordering similar food or meals from the same place is also an option! If you are feeling extra charitable, then a meal exchange between friends could be a very sweet idea. Pro tip: to make those you are spending time with feel even more real and life-sized, broadcast the video call onto a television or other large screen!

Play games together

There are various options for game playing, both for in person parties and virtual ones. Plenty of online games are available for free and can be played in groups. Some ideas include trivia games such as Trivia Crack and Sporcle (or its mobile alternative, Sporcle Party), just for fun matches on Kahoot, Monopoly on the app, as well as multiple video games. If you are with others in person, remember that a good old board or card game is always an option. Something I’d like to try would be a card creation and exchange game like we always do in school. Whoever can write and decorate the loveliest card wins!

Relive past encounters

 

While comparing the situation isn’t going to make many of us happier, it is always bittersweet to think about past memories. Reflecting on life and remembering good times can be a great bonding experience, as well as a great way to pass the time. Also, it’s never too early to make future plans!

Contribute to those in need

The holidays are, naturally, a time for giving. While the Holiday Spirit can be credited with making us all feel more giving, there is never a need for an excuse to do good. In-person community service opportunities are very limited, but many charities are still accepting donations of all kinds online. Looking into doing something beneficial to others is always a great way to live up to the holiday spirit.

Tell tales

Whether they be second or first hand accounts from relatives, sharing festive stories is always a great way to connect. They may be funny, entertaining, meaningful, or even tear-jerking - the possibilities are endless. What’s your favorite New Year’s story?

Send gifts

There are few things more classic than giving and receiving presents. It is a great time to gift to those you love and care about things they will appreciate. For families who can gather in person - a regular gift exchange is an option for you. If you and loved ones are not together in person, sending, dropping off, or delivering gifts is an option! Another alternative is sending a digital present or a gift card.

Remember: while gifts are fun, the most important aspect of the holiday season is to spend time with those you love, people and memories are far more important than material possessions!

Start a fun new tradition with family or friends

Unfortunately, many of our beloved traditions must be altered or adapted for this year’s predicament. But what’s stopping you and your own from creating some fun traditions on your own? Repeating them in a year’s time, and even later on, will surely be fun and a great trip down memory lane!

Write resolutions!

While this may seem an obvious choice, it is something often overlooked, in favor of the fun activities and the food. Throughout the day, or weekend - because celebrating for days is better than just an evening - constantly be thinking about everything you want to accomplish. It will make the holiday even more special and meaningful.

Whatever you decide to do, please stay healthy, safe, and responsible. Happy New Year, may it be merry and bright!

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