Creative Ideas to Ring in the New Year

You’ve already got a semester of partying under your belt by the time New Years Eve rolls around. How are you going to throw the bash that everyone’s still talking about in 2010? Here are some ways to make the 2008 send-off the most memorable.

If you can travel…

Hey, if you’ve got the funds, lucky you. Hit up another country and see how they do New Years. You don’t regret it. If you’re still underage, Canadian cities can be quite the hotspot (take it from someone who spent her last <21 New Years in Montreal, after a 10-hour road strip). If you’re loaded despite being in college during the recession, head on over to Europe. Hate the cold? Sing Auld Lang Syne in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic.

Okay, those are nice ideas in a fantasy world… but let’s move onto options for those of us who can’t cough up the money for airfare.

If you want to travel but can’t afford it…

Throw a Chinese New Year’s party. Okay, so technically the CNY kicks off February 1, but who cares? Cater your party with Egg Rolls and Fortune Cookies (way cheaper than many food options), decorate with paper dragons, and serve Sake till the last Geisha’s standing.

Create Your Own Times Square. NYC is pretty much insane on New Year’s anyway. Hang a disco ball from the ceiling and buy skyscraper cut-outs for the walls. Have everyone dress up (because in college, the land of hoodies and sweatshirts, you can never have too many fancy-dress parties), and broadcast the Manhattan festivities on your TV in the background. It’ll be warmer than Times Square, and you probably won’t have any bums hitting you up for spare change on the way home.

Throw a Hotel Party…in the Next Town Over. Grab a room at the Best Western or the HoJo, and pretend you’re at the Ritz Carlton. Nobody will have to drive, you won’t have to clean up, and maybe you can work it so you share a queen bed with your crush.

If you really don’t care about traveling, and just want to have a good time:

Throw a “My Tie” party. If you can make a large quantity of Mai Tais in a punch bowl, more power to you. But encourage everyone to dress business-casual, and when the men arrive, have them remove their ties and throw them in a basket. The ladies then choose a tie, and the man who belongs to that piece of neckwear is her date for the night. Takes the pressure off of finding a kiss at Midnight.

New Year’s Resolutions parties can also be fun, because we all have them, and none of us stick to them. Wear a necklace made of empty Marlboro boxes if you plan to quit smoking, or wear some hot spandex if you vow to go to the gym more regularly. Things can get pretty effing creative here. Not into costumes? Have everyone throw their resolution into a hat, and try to guess who is giving up what this year.

Have a Blind Date. They say the way you ring in the new year is a prediction of how the next 365 days will unfold. Plan a girl’s night and go Speed Dating as a group, or see if any bachelors have posted on CrazyBlindDate.com. The key is to get your friends involved, so that at the very least, you can have a laugh. New Year’s Eve is all about letting loose isn’t it?

If you really don’t care about getting smashed…

Check out your city’s First Night. There’s bound to be fireworks, free live music, and tons of street vendors. Many cities across the US host First Night celebrations, and they are quite lucrative.

Host a Best-Of 2008 Movie Marathon. Curl up with some take-out and a stash of DVDs – just be sure to press pause for the Ball Drop at midnight!

Make Some Money. I’ve had my share of insane NYE celebrations. So last year, I opted to wait tables, since every weekend for me is as crazy as the novice’s New Year. The tips were good, and I was still out by midnight. And I made up for missing the big party by having several “No Reason” celebrations. Scour Craigslist and you’ll see tons of opportunities to work at private parties on the 31st. You never know what kind of adventure will actually unravel.

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