This Is the Only Thing You Need to Have a Successful NYE

New Year's Eve is quite a divisive holiday.

Much like Halloween, people seem to either love it or hate it—and I totally get why. The night requires a lot of planning, buying some kind of outfit or costume, spending money and having exciting plans.

Group of friends dancing at school dance; confetti falling

(via Shutterstock)

But to the contrary of my Halloween feelings, I've actually lucked out when it comes to the majority of my NYE celebrations. In fact, as stressful as it is, it's actually my favorite holiday.

For as long as I can remember, Jan. 31 has been special. When I was much younger, I'd stay up and watch the ball drop from my grandparents' TV in New York, as my brother and I forced ourselves to keep our eyes open until midnight.

When I grew out of spending NYE in with the fam, my first memorable "outing" was sophomore year of high school, when my best friend, Sheryl, and I took a tiny "road trip" (aka a 45-minute ride down the Interstate 5 freeway) with her stepdad. We thought we were so cool because we got to stay overnight in a hotel. FWIW, it was nothin' fancy, but because it was NYE, and our first time getting our own hotel room without our 'rents, we us feel so fabulous.

The best NYE of my life was senior year of high school. Crazy it still reigns supreme after all these years, right? It was incredibly spontaneous. I literally thought I'd stay in doing nothing up until, like, 5 p.m. that day. Those unplanned outings are always the best. I ended up going to a ticketed music event, fell completely head over heels for these new friends I went with, and it was legit life-changing. Nights like that just don't exist anymore, but wow, it sure was fun.

Happy NYE times continued in college, too. Among the best memories was one year in New York City. My then-best friend and I joined pals from our Birthright Israel trip for a total basic touristy venture to Times Square to watch the ball drop in the freezing cold. The experience wasn't really all that thrilling. Like, I've been to Times Square one hundred times, and there were so many people that night it was impossible to move—but, being able to hug my closest friend at midnight in my favorite city made it all worth it. We slept over in Manhattan and took the train to Long Island the next day, just the two of us. It was so peaceful.

Another college NYE memory occurred in Portland, Oregon. Honestly, I felt kind of gross and my confidence was pretty low this particular year. My friends and I didn't even have anything cool planned, except for making our rounds at this place we'd hang out at frequently. Despite being casually dressed in jeans and a burgundy Juicy Couture sweatsuit top, when I look back, I remember having fun because my friends and I made everything fun.

The Bold Type best friends hugging

(The Bold Type via Freeform)

When I moved to Los Angeles in Nov. 2007, I kicked off my experience with a very eventful NYE trip to San Francisco with my college friends. We had so much fun. Like, I don't think SF is what comes to mind when you think New Year's Eve, but being with my then-favorite people at some house party was truly the best.

The next two NYEs were pretty forgettable, but literally every single one from 2010 and on has been special in its own way. Once I finally made real friends in L.A., I never felt alone on the holiday that's supposed to embrace love and new beginnings.

For the last nine years, my friends and I have done everything on NYE, from renting out a karaoke room, to hosting private parties at art galleries, to buying tickets to posh extravaganzas, to going to Las Vegas and accidentally spending the big night with a couple of our fave reality stars—and so much more. Each year has been eventful in its own way.

Whether the group has been big or small, or the vibe was super energetic or a bit more mellow, I look back fondly on the holiday because I've been able to spend it with people I care about. Is it an excuse to get all dolled up and wear more sparkle than ever before? Well, sure. Do you not feel as guilty for staying up way past your bedtime? Totally. But, more than anything, I've had fun because of who I'm with. I'm pretty certain that if I ended up in an apartment with my four favorite people and we blasted music, ate yummy food and toasted to our friendship, I would be just as content as if I did something extravagant.

The value of being with at least one person you truly care about—whether that be a close friend, an S.O. or a family member—on the big day, far outweighs the actual plans. So, for me, I think of this holiday as almost an extension of Thanksgiving—an evening to count my blessings, think about what I want in the future, and to be surrounded by loved ones. It's much less about who I kiss or if I'm seen at the hottest Instagram-worthy destination.

new-years-kiss-high-school-musical-social-122717

(High School Musical via The Disney Channel)

Funnily enough, I have literally no clue what I'm doing this NYE, and no idea who I'm spending it with. But I have confidence it will be a special night nevertheless.

 

Trying to reconnect with an old pal before the new year? HERE are the six best excuses to use when you want to rekindle a friendship.