Whether you're going out or staying in, one of life's "shoulds" is that you've got to party on New Year's Eve. I was much more into that in younger days, but 12/31 remains a good occasion to get together with friends and celebrate new beginnings. (After the turmoil that happened in my life in 2010, I'm ready for something different!)
Here are a few thoughts about how to make the evening fun, safe and healthy.
1. If you drink alcohol, drink bubbly on this night. One of my favorite at-home celebrations is to invite couples to bring a bottle of bubbly and I'll provide the food. If you invite wine-savvy people, some interesting stuff will show up and it's a treat to compare various styles of sparkling wine. I am partial to Champagne, the real stuff from France, but there's a lot of variation there too and I like to try different styles of Champagne.
2. When you don't want to spend $$$ on Champagne, buy another type of sparkling wine and make "champagne cocktails." To cut back on alcohol consumption, mix your bubbly with orange or cranberry juice. Or pour a little Chambord (raspberry liqueur) or Grand Marnier in a flute and top with the sparkling wine. These drinks are just as festive as straight Champagne, sweeter (which many people prefer), and might lessen any ill effects on New Year's Day--also known as a hangover.
3. Be vigilent about drinking and driving: don't do it. There are ways to get around having to drive after you've imbibed, and you really have no excuse to get out on the roads in the early morning hours when you're impaired. My strategy of choice is to host a party at home, usually with guests who live in our neighborhood and don't have far at all to travel--some can walk home, even. Find a way.
4. Eat mindfully. By this point in the holiday season I am completely stuffed with extra calories from things I normally do not eat. I haven't gotten on a scale lately but know that a few pounds have piled on that I need to be getting rid of soon. For me, New Year's Eve may not be a diet day, but it's also not going to be an overly indulgent one, either.
All the best,