The Shut-In’s Guide To Having An Amazing Solo New Year’s Eve

staying home on new years eve shut in

New Year’s Eve is almost here, which means your Facebook notifications are probably filled with countless party invitations that you’ve been ignoring. Whether these options include going out (and spending an exorbitant amount of money), attending a house party (and spending slightly less money), or both, the end result is the same — NYE often requires you to go outside. But what if you wanted to stay in and ring in the new year with a Netflix marathon and/or a good ol’ box of Franzia?

Turns out lots of people decide to be shut-ins on NYE every year, and that’s more than fine. Personal comfort is almost always forgotten during the holiday rush to please everyone else, so think of this as little bit of payback for the one person you’ve been neglecting while shuffling to parties and standing in line to buy things for other people. Besides, every major broadcast and cable news network puts out identical special programming that is aimed right at you with Anderson Cooper doing bad math and Pitbull eating sh*t, so you don’t want to miss out on that. Oh, you do? Luckily there are plenty of other fun opportunities for you to embrace while you wear a silly hat in the quiet splendor of your own home.

Netflix and chill Netflix


Netflix headquarters’ graffiti-marked sign notwithstanding, everyone knows that “Netflix and chill” denotes bingeing on your favorite movies and television shows while doing… something else.

(P.S. Sex Things.)

But if you have no one to rub parts with this holiday season, why not “Netflix and Netflix”? Or “Netflix and Hulu”? Or combine it with Amazon, Crackle, HBO, cable or broadcast streaming options? WATCH ALL THE THINGS, you stream-service-slut, you. When else when you have all this free time to get caught up on the shows everyone is talking about (that all tend to blend together)?

Taste test the other four flavors of Franzia

Franzia is the wine of choice for college students, divorcées, and people who usually don’t drink wine. Even if you’re not in one of these categories, however, you should experiment with the boxed wine’s five flavor varieties on NYE. Yes, that’s right — Franzia makes more than just “red.” There’s two reds, two whites and something called “Sunset Blush.” Is that the first four mixed together? Only through experimentation can we truly know. You won’t even need a glass round midnight, just splash a little of each flavor in your mouth and shake. No one is there to judge you despite Carson Daly’s perpetual judgey-stare.

Make an Olive Garden-like meal for less than $400

People celebrating NYE in Times Square will spend hours (if not days) saving spots along the famous thruway, hoping to get a good view of Thursday night’s ball drop. Others will fork over hundreds of dollars for a seat at one of the area’s fine restaurants — like Olive Garden, where patrons can eat for $400 a head. But why pay money when you can easily recreate the food at home for a fraction of the cost? Besides, you won’t have to deal with snarky waitstaff, telling you not to eat so many bread sticks by way of tapering the amount they bring out with each subsequent refill request.

Put together a 1,000-piece puzzle

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Not all games have to be on consoles, computers, or handheld devices. Board games like Monopoly are always a fun option, those lose some of their luster when played solo (though you are assured victory) and trying to play Monopoly via Skype seems complicated.

As an alternative, there’s always puzzles — especially 1,000-piece (or higher) puzzles for you try to complete before the night is out. These things usually take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to finish, so why not try giving your brain a shot at the big time while also keeping with the New Year’s tradition of setting oneself up for failure with impossible goals.

Remake your favorite movies… with cats

Like Jurassic World? Have access to pet cats, dogs or both? Here’s what you do:

  1. Acquire at least one cat.
  2. Acquire at least one dog.
  3. Make sure you know how to use the video feature on your smartphone.
  4. Remake your own version of the Jurassic films, tentatively titled Jurassic Bark.

The cat(s) will play the human parts, whereas the dog(s) will be the dinosaurs. There’s no need to create an actual plot — just film a few simulated pet fights, add bits of John Williams’ brilliant score off of Spotify, and eureka! Your NYE entertainment has ascended to the next level.

Figure out how your dog would wear pants

After making the guaranteed blockbuster, Jurassic Bark, you’ll probably have a few minutes to kill before the official end of this year. Since you (a) still have access to at least one dog, and (b) undoubtedly own pants, you should determine how exactly a canine would wear pants. You know, for science. And because dogs wearing human clothes — while almost as morally reprehensible as dogs in purses — is hilarious.

Free your inner diva


New Year’s is an undeniably musical night but your world doesn’t have to revolve around the pop royals that take center stage on your television. Why not break out the karaoke machine and stage your own concert? Your neighbors will LOVE it (the ones who choose to sleep in because they’re tragically boring). And, if you record the whole thing, you’ll always have a keepsake to remind you of the night when you tried all the wonderous Franzia flavors after staging scenes from Sophie’s Choice with your dogs.