Ten ways to celebrate the New Year in an original and fulfilling fashion

  • 2004-12-22
No New Year's plans? Stuck for what to do? Then let us help take the pressure off with this list of alternative ways to spend New Year's Eve.

Sleep it out. Stay up all night on Dec. 30, struggle through the next day by drinking plenty of coffee, and then tuck yourself into bed at approximately 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 after drinking a nice steaming mug of cocoa. Don't forget the earplugs to block out the fireworks.

Do the jet-set thing. If you can't afford to charter a private plane to hit each of the world's time zones on their respective strokes of midnight, keep up with those high-flying millionaires by doing the triple New Year whammy of Tallinn-Riga-Vilnius. It might be a little tricky, given that all three cities share the same time zone, but if you leave Tallinn on the merry stroke of midnight, and drive really, really fast, you could be in Vilnius in time for a New Year's day breakfast

Go into denial. Find a soapbox, head off to Dome Square as all the New Year revelers are starting to assemble there, and then let rip with an awesome philosophical denunciation of time. You could start out by refuting time as either a linear or cyclical concept and close your speech with an impassioned denial there is even such a thing as the so-called "new" "year." But if a beer bottle suddenly strikes you on the head you should probably call it a day.

Spend it in a tree. Be the first person in modern history to see the New Year in by spending it in a tree. Climb to the uppermost branches, lodge yourself firmly into place, and sway the whole night through. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks and a flask of something hot. Think of the stories you'll be able to tell your grandchildren when they come to see you during visiting hours.

Have a misery-fest. Resist the overwhelming pressure to be happy, and go all out to have a sublimely wretched night. Rent a Bergman film (preferably "Cries and Whispers"), read a few verses of "The City of Dreadful Night" (surely the bleakest thing ever put to paper), have another shot of vodka with a twist of lemon, and then call the Samaritans just in time to wish the operator "Happy (sic) New Year!"

Set a world record for New Year resolutions. Write up a voluminous list of resolutions to set a new world record. For example: Resolution 472 - Only purchase pink toilet paper for the duration of 2005 or: Resolution 1,212 - Blink in the direction of heaven five times a day.

Throw a very special kind of party. This will take some serious planning but invite every single person you've ever known to a party, and see how many actually show up. You'll probably require the help of a trained private eye to help you track down some of those old kindergarten buddies.

Be your opposite. Whatever you're normally like, and whatever you normally do, or don't do, do the opposite. If you be chaste, be profligate, and if you be profligate, be chaste. If you be small, be tall, and if you be tall, be small. You get the idea. Who knows, you might wake up on Jan. 1 feeling like a whole new person.

Make some noise. Inspired by Lithuania's bid to be the brightest country in Europe when it joined the EU, make yours the loudest household in Europe during the countdown to the New Year. Bang garbage can lids together, turn on blenders, washing machines (on spin cycles), TVs, stereos, drills, hairdryers, and anything else you can think of. Something has to happen sooner or later as a result.

Coin a new word. "Serendipity" was recently voted the most beautiful word in the English language in some poll or other. Horace Walpole coined the word back in 1754 for a fairy tale. Don't waste your time going to parties, getting drunk, and having a good time. Stay home and coin a word that in 250 years time will be voted the most beautiful word in the English language. You could try using the word "labi" as a root.