If you're not careful, New Year's Eve could put you on your way to a terrible 2014.
But if you become the master of New Year's Eve, you'll become the master of the new year. Although you probably think you know how to party on December 31st, there could be a few things you're actually doing completely wrong. Are you quiet? Are you blonde? Are you neither? You should read on.
You really need to know how to do New Year's Eve right, so don't...
1. Have a really awkward midnight kiss or fail entirely.
According to folklore, failing to kiss someone as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve means you're going to have a lonely 2014. That said, although you should try to avoid going kiss-less, you also shouldn't be the most awkward kisser in the room. Some general tips to avoid humiliation: Make a connection with the person you might want to share a kiss with long before the midnight countdown starts, be confident but not overly enthusiastic or forceful when the time comes, try really hard to clink champagne glasses and not teeth, and don't try to French kiss if the person isn't your partner. Especially if you're in the U.S. -- the French rang in the new year hours ago.
2. Open a bottle of champagne embarrassingly wrong.
Spilling the champagne everywhere will be a sticky and embarrassing mess you'll want to avoid. Here's how to do it right:
-Remove the foil/water cage while being careful not to let it prematurely pop.
-Hold the bottle with your dominant hand at a 45 degree angle (people commonly make mistake of holding cork with dominant hand.)
-With non-dominant hand holding the cork, begin to twist the bottle slowly back and forth while bracing against your hip.
-As the cork loosens and begins to pop, push the cork out with your thumb.
Or if you want, you could open it with a saber...
3. Make up every word to "Auld Lang Syne," known by most as "that New Year's Eve song."
Most likely none of your friends know a single line of this classic song either, but it's a tradition and it'd be good to know the lyrics to something other than a Kanye West song this December 31st.
"Auld Lang Syne" (English minimalist translation)
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
4. Plan on relying on a "hangover cure" to get you through New Year's Day.
Bad move. There is scientifically no true hangover cure, except for waiting it out. You can rehydrate yourself with water and maybe even Pedialyte or Sprite, and you should regain your energy by eating breakfast, but that's about it.
5. Tell terrible, unforgivable New Year's Eve jokes.
Never a good idea. Whatever you do, definitely do not tell any of the jokes below.
"Q: What do you tell someone you didn't see at New Year's Eve? A: I haven't seen you for a year!"
"My New Years resolution is 1080p"
"I'll remember 2013 like it was yesterday"
"I'm actually feeling pretty okay about not accomplishing anything this year."
6. Blow your Christmas bonus on expensive champagne.
Always remember this important, yet classic drinking rule: Buy the cheapest champagne and the finest sparkling cider.
The more bottles of champagne at a party the better, but if you're living on any sort of budget this can get expensive fast. The solution is a large purchase of Andre (individually about $6). But it's still New Year's Eve and party guests will expect a bit of decadence, so don't skimp on the sparkling cider which is much more affordable to do right. Martinelli's is the classic, but if you want one super fancy cider you can get the Monticello brand straight from Thomas Jefferson's house, which costs $75. Plus, with ciders like that, your friends will respect you when you repeatedly ask them, "how do you like them apples?" Actually, refer to the previous point and don't do this.
Image: Amazon / S Martinelli & Company
7. Have no idea how to fold a New Year's Eve hat.
If you're older than five years old and still don't know how to fold a beautiful New Year's Eve hat, what are you waiting for? Here's how to do it via Examiner:
1. Start by rolling a piece of paper into a cone and stapling, gluing, or taping it shut. Use your scissors to trim the hats brim, and punch a hole in each side of the hat. Tie the elastic through the holes to hold the hat in place and decorate.
2. For a smaller cone hat cut circle from a piece of paper, and cut a slit into the circle up to the middle of the circle. Next twist the cut slit sides into a cone and staple, glue, or tape it shut. Add holes and elastic and you have a basic cone hat.
Start by folding a regular size piece of construction paper in half so that the shorter sides meet. Then fold the top corners of the folded side down towards the center of the piece of paper. Now fold the bottom unfolded sides up to create a brim, and tape the edges of the brim together.
8. Put on a terrible music playlist.
If your party playlist doesn't include any of the long list of New Year's Eve themed songs, you're doing it wrong. Here are a few in alphabetical order of the bands:
"Happy New Year" - ABBA
"New Year" - Beach House
"Happy New Year" - Camera Obscura
"The New Year" - Death Cab For Cutie
"Happy New Year" - Dido
"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" - Ella Fitzgerald
"New Year's Eve" - First Aid Kit
"What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" - The Head And The Heart
"Happy New Year" - Kid Rock
"Happy New Year" - Nat King Cole
"New Year's Eve" - Tom Waits
"In The New Year" - The Walkmen
"New Year's Eve" - The Walkmen
9. Miss the memo that there's a strict menu for your first meal of the new year.
You're supposed to "eat poor on New Year's, and eat fat the rest of the year." This most commonly manifests itself in the tradition of eating black eyed peas as your first meal of the New Year to make sure you have "luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead." The legend of black eyed peas bringing prosperity has been around since 500 A.D. as a Jewish custom during Rosh Hashanah, but the modern popularization comes from an unfortunately worse origin. It's said that Union soldiers deemed black eyed peas only suitable for animals during The Civil War and therefore didn't destroy or steal those crops when invading the South, meaning the Confederate soldiers could still eat black eyes peas and continue fighting.
10. Make a lame resolution for 2014.
First of all, you need to make sure your New Year's resolution is ambitious but actually achievable. Psychologist and researcher Robert Epstein says, "Virtually all ambitious New Year’s resolutions set you up for failure but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them. It can motivate you to stretch in new directions. Ideally, you should make ambitious, yet achievable resolutions."
But you also need to realize that you're going to have to tell your New Year's resolution to countless friends/family during small talk, so your resolution also needs to be kind of interesting. Our suggestions could be to live your life more like Alien from "Spring Breakers," buy these David Bowie/Tilda Swinton tights and wear them every day, or
just try to be happy and smile more binge-watch more Netflix.
11. Create a Rachel-esque New Year's trifle.
Although Rachel from "Friends" made her trifle for a Thanksgiving party, trifles are a classic New Year's Eve dessert. Time to master the art of trifling and make something super delicious. Don't be a Rachel and add meat to your trifle, make it this way according to AllRecipes.com:
2 (8 or 9 inch) white cake layers, baked and cooled
2 pints fresh strawberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
12 maraschino cherries
-Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar.
-Cut the bananas into slices and toss with orange juice.
-Combine pudding mix with milk and mix until smooth.
-Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes.
-Use half of the cake cubes to line the bottom of a large glass bowl.
-Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas.
-Spread half of the pudding over the fruit.
-Repeat layers in the same order.
-In a medium bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread over top of trifle.
-Garnish with maraschino cherries and slivered almonds.
Bonus: Let blonde or redheaded females into your house.
This is a pretty bizarre New Year's Eve myth, but apparently in Scottish and Northern English folklore the first person you let walk into your house in the new year will influence the entirety of 2014. Ideally (according to the legend), the person will be an attractive and tall male. The worst person you can let into your house would be a blonde or redheaded girl, as that will apparently "bring disaster down on the household." On second thought, being sexist or hair color-ist will also ruin your year, so you should probably just ignore this one.