You don’t need to be part of a big countdown or party to have a good time.
You may be tempted to call this year a total wash and lament that new year’s eve festivities won’t be like past year’s. While the latter isn’t completely untrue, it would be inaccurate to immediately jump to the conclusion that you can’t have a good time this 31 December, just because big parties have been canceled and safe distancing measures are still in place. This NYE, it’s all about flexing your creative muscle and finding new ways to enjoy the holiday. Besides, starting 2021 on a positive note will put you in a much better headspace to kickstart the new year.
Here are 8 different ways you can still very much be part of the festivities without being part of a big countdown party.
Have a takeaway feast
With the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble temporarily on hold, you can be sure that many will be revenge-spending by dining out this year-end period. If online jostling for reservations isn’t your cup of tea, bring a good meal back home instead. Wakanui’s (#04-02, call 6384 2665 to pre-order. Two days pre-order advance required) takeaway sets are good for up to five people, and comprises good-for-sharing items like a full rack of lamb, a roasted whole chicken and an assorted cheese platter. Top it up with a festive hamper of cookies, macarons and other sweet treats – there’s even a bottle of sparkling wine you can use to ring in the new year with.
Cook up a storm
If you are not planning on going out and have plenty of time to spare, why not put together a labour of love that you can even keep for the following morning? That way, you won’t be fussed for food when you are nursing a hangover the next day. Dishes that are eternal crowd-pleasers and are manageable to prepare at home include salmon wellington, chicken shawarma and a simple roast beef. The following day, just fry up any leftovers in butter and top it with a crispy egg for a delicious breakfast hash that will mop up any lingering champagne-induced headaches. Get all your ingredients (and more inspiration) at Cold Storage (#B2-15/16).
Catch the Marina Bay light show
Understandably, the annual fireworks and countdown show at Marina Bay has been canceled. In its place will instead be a three-minute light show comprising 60 moving beams of light that will light up the bay every night in December between 8pm to 10.30pm in intervals of 15 minutes. It’s a decidedly more subdued celebration, but perhaps a more symbolic one – the light show is supposed to signify unity, positivity and resilience. Alternatively, you can catch the fireworks on TV as they are set off at different heartland locations across Singapore.
Take a walk at midnight
With restaurants still abiding by their 10.30pm closing time, the streets of Singapore at midnight will likely be even more peaceful than usual as people take their celebrations home. Take advantage of this, and go for a long, leisurely walk – at midnight even, if that suits you – to enjoy the rare peace and quiet on a festive night. Take a gander around the Green Heart, and luxuriate in the soothing sounds of the waterfalls and rustle of the plants in the breeze. If you are feeling up for it, you can even go for a midnight run towards Marina Barrage or Gardens by the Bay. All those endorphins will also be more likely to put you in a good mood to embrace whatever 2021 may bring your way.
Have an early dinner and then go to bed
The turning of the new year is after all, an arbitrary construct – who says you have to stay up past midnight to usher in the new year? After the exhausting year that we’ve all had, it is perfectly acceptable to have an early dinner before retiring to the comfort of your bed. Besides, this means you will be waking up fresh and raring for new year’s day brunch at The Spot (#01-26/27, available from 11.30am to 3.30pm on 1 Jan. Call 6284 2637 or email to email@example.com for reservations), who will be serving up a storm of a meal with indulgent items like oysters, foie gras, wagyu and more, paired with free-flow wines.
Have a holiday movie marathon
If there’s one time of the year to binge-watch cheesy holiday movies unapologetically as the ultimate form of escapism, it would be the year-end season. A reliable holiday-themed favourite is the ensemble rom-com, 200 Cigarettes, (featuring Paul Rudd, Kate Hudson, Ben Affleck and more on several plot arcs happening on new year’s eve of 1981), while new Netflix holiday flick, The Holidate, brings the well-loved tropes of “boy and girl pretending to be a couple for convenience” to numerous holiday settings, new year’s eve included. For the new year’s version of Love, Actually, put on the extremely cheesy New Year’s Eve, which, although is less of a movie and more of collection of many, many cameos from Hollywood stars, still makes for an entertaining watch. Go ahead and indulge – nobody would judge.
Make a list of things you are grateful for
While making new year’s resolutions are great, this year, it might be worthwhile to also take the time to put together a list of things that you are grateful for, despite all that has happened in 2020. Being mindful of what you have achieved in spite of all the challenges can help you feel more grounded and positive, and more connected with the people in your life, which in turn, leads to better emotional and mental well-being. And if that can help you feel more mentally geared up for the new year, where’s the harm in trying?
Get in touch with a loved one
Remember the days where we would send out personalised SMS greetings the moment the clock struck twelve on new year’s day? Instead of forwarding generic greetings or memes to your friends, bring back this old habit and send personalised texts to both your immediate circle of friends and family, and friends you might have neglected in the last few busy months. You will be surprised by just how energised you can feel from having a good conversation with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while.