The Guy’s Guide to New Year’s Eve

Confession: I don’t really like New Year’s. Personally, my new year starts in September, so by the time the 31st rolls around, I’m pretty pissed that it’s disturbing my six-day-long Sunday from the 26th to 31st in which I consume hours of Netflix and leftovers. The month of December is just a month-long party filled with more calories than I consume in a year and people who I really don’t want to see but have to anyway, so who wants to repeat that shit for one more night?

Well, a lot of people do. You do. And, yes, even I get the itch to tear myself away from the couch and put on a glittery dress for the big night. From movies to TV specials, New Year’s Eve is one of those hyped-up, must-do holidays, like Valentine’s Day and Administrative Professionals’ Day. We want to be a part of the festivities—even if that means babysitting a toilet for the next 12 hours afterwards (me, last year).

So before you settle for one of those over-priced prix fixe shit shows at the latest trendy spot, here are some tips to help you usher in the New Year the right way.

The Scene

The ‘where’ isn’t as big a deal as you think. I’ve been to those aforementioned prix fixe clusterfucks at fancy schmancy lounges before, and I can attest, from Toronto to New York City, they are all alike: short on food, long on people and exceptionally overpriced. One of the most fun New Year’s Eves I ever had was a spur-of-the-moment trip to a Greenwich Village Mexican dive where I drank things called ‘swankaritas’ and ate terrible tacos. Like most things in life, the best ones usually are unplanned.

But if you’re type A and need to plan—or at least want to be assured that your friends know where you’ll be so they’ll show up—I’d choose a place where you’re most comfortable. Whether it’s your favourite local watering hole or your living room, go where your A game is best played—yes, even if it’s at some claustrophobic nightclub dancing on a banquette. I’m not judging.

The People

This is the most important component of your night, hands down. If you’re spending your night with a bunch of assholes, it doesn’t matter if you’re at the top of the Eiffel Tower, your NYE will still suck. My advice: be surrounded by the people who you want in your life in the New Year. Have one of those fair-weather friends that you can’t stand? Don’t invite him. Having troubles with your girlfriend? Well, you should have nipped this situation in the bud way before New Year’s rolled around, but spending the night apart might be the best solution for you—symbolically and, well,  for your sanity. Of course, if you’re crazy about a woman, then, hell yes, share the evening with her. Be around those you love and those who love you. Simple.

The Fashion

You guys have it pretty good when it comes to donning duds for the big night. Women, for some reason, have to contend with sparkly, sequined outfits that look like they came straight from the house of Liberace. Well, all that glitters is not gold, my friend, so that’s why you want to stick with some classic basics. If you’re going out to a restaurant or a nightclub, stick to a neutral dark palette—black, navy blue, grey—as well as a pair of comfortable slacks and a crisp dress shirt, with some great looking shoes to complete the ensemble. If you’re staying in, well, wear the hell whatever you want. If you want to wear track pants as you play Catan with your friends, do so. If you want to wear your PJs as you snuggle up to your GF and watch a movie, that’s cool, too. Comfort is key.

The Kiss

This part of the night stresses a lot of people out. Don’t let it. I know it’s that time of year where couple-y things are thrown in our faces, and whether you’re single or in a relationship, we all feel the pressure to either be with someone or be a better someone to our Someone. Don’t let the cuddly commercialism get you down! If you don’t have a lady to kiss at midnight, don’t sweat it. More importantly, don’t assume because you didn’t kiss anyone that you are doomed for a frigid new year—and I don’t mean January’s cold temperatures. There were some new years I kissed boyfriends who I soon broke up with afterwards. There were new years where I kissed no one, but then dated my ass off the following year. If you want to lock lips with someone (because who doesn’t?) kissing a stranger for the hell of it can be fun, especially if she’s someone you’ve been flirting with the whole night. But, please, fellas: don’t go tongue-first.


The whole thing about New Year’s is that it’s celebrating a new year, so we inevitably feel that urge to improve ourselves. We want to become “new” in whichever area in our life we’re most unhappy with: job, love life, health, finances. And we should want to change and grow. That’s how we evolve and why people end up creating and curing stuff. But, according to this thing called science, over 88% of all new year’s resolutions ultimately fail because our brains can’t handle such a mega overhaul at once. So we need to start off small. Instead of the ambiguous “I’m going to lose weight” resolve, try exercising an extra five minutes a day. Focus on the carrot, and not on the stick. Which is pretty much how you should look at New Year’s Eve and the new year itself. Have a plan, but welcome spontaneity. Go easy on yourself and let go a little. Be more present in the moment and, of course, have fun. This might be your best new year, yet.

Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine.  You can follow her on Twitter  @briannehogan.
Photo courtesy of Ivan McClellan

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