5 Things to Do on New Year’s Eve (If You Hate New Year’s Eve)

New Year’s Eve is basically the worst holiday of the year. Sure, it proceeds a day off, but that seems like a big price to pay for an evening designed to make you feel a) pathetic for your lack of achievements from the previous 364 days and thus bound to resolving to be better, and b) desperate for someone to make out with. If you expressed either of those feelings on any other regular old Thursday night, people would be justifiably concerned.

The only way to properly handle New Year’s Eve is to lower your expectations to zero. Understand that this is not going to end like the final scene in When Harry Met Sally. The party won’t be fun. The boy (or girl) will not be cute. You won’t be able to catch a cab. There is no love waiting for you in the first few hours of 2017, only a hangover, so you may as well fist-pump it into the New Year by eschewing all traditional forms of celebration and following one of these fool-proof plans for a NYE hater’s ideal evening.

1. Hit up Club Bed

On one of the many New Year’s Eves past that I was stupid enough to think I had designed a foolproof plan, I bought my best friends and I tickets to a popular club, because who doesn’t want to spend the evening drinking champagne and making out with strangers in style, right? Right. Except instead of doing that I got kicked out of the venue for getting in a fight with the bouncer (I tried to sneak my way into the roped-off VIP section, Charlie’s Angels style—turns out I’m not a spy) and ended the evening alone, sitting in a flower pot, sobbing.

The club is not your friend on a good day, and it is your literal enemy on the eve of December 31. So instead opt for some melatonin, pop in a Sandra Bullock flick and turn off the lights at 10:30 p.m. If you’re fully asleep by the time 2016 bleeds into 2017, congratulations—you’ve officially had the best night out of anyone you know.

2. Get drunk with your parents

Let me let you in on a little secret about your parents: they also think New Year’s Eve sucks. Unless you were born to Kris Jenner, your parents are probably over having or attending lavish parties on New Year’s Eve because they’re older and wiser and have figured out long ago that the holiday is a bust. At the most, they’ll probably want to put on some nice clothes, have a lovely dinner, then go home and drink wine on the couch and yell at the TV. Do this with them. You will not regret it, not only because your parents won’t be around forever and you love them, but because they will pay for everything. And for once in your life you can wake up in 2017 not terrified of the figure in your checking account.

3. Crash a stranger’s house party under a fake name

Another rule I like to apply to New Year’s Eve is “no stakes.” Paying lots of money to get into an warehouse party in the middle of nowhere because you think the guy you like might also be going because he posted about it on Facebook? So many stakes. Attending a complete stranger’s party with a friend and pretending to be Mary-Kate & Ashley’s other, lesser-known, fraternal twin sisters? No stakes. No stakes at all. You don’t know these people, they don’t know you, the alcohol is free and you now have a dozen temporary new friends who think you’re an Olsen. Happy New Year!

4. Cook yourself a nice dinner

Did you know there’s a whole list of foods you’re supposed to eat on New Year’s Eve for good luck? If you’re answering no, we may have figured out why your past New Years Eve’s have been so crappy—you weren’t eating the right stuff! The guideline for your grocery shopping, according to the internet, is basically if it can at all be tied to money, it will bring you luck—fish (because their scales look like shiny coins), beans (because they look like coins? This one is more confusing but stay with me), and any all greens (because duh, bills).

If you’re feeling extra ambitious you can include a ring-shaped cake that symbolizes your year coming full circle, and some pork, because pigs like to move forward when rooting around—just like you, moving forward, bit by bit, into culinary adulthood and the New Year.

5. Dress up and go nowhere

It is a scientific fact that 95% of the fun had in your evening takes place while you are getting ready to go out. The remaining 5% happens in small, sad spurts for the remaining hours of your night when your favourite song comes on or you get a free drink, and it’s not worth much. This is even more true on a night like New Year’s Eve, when for some reason the dress code becomes “Vegas” and you get to cover your body in sequins that, without fail, start to shed the minute you step out of your house.

So why not trick the system and just…never go out? You can do this small scale; invite a friend over, get dressed up and eat a lot of wine and cheese, or large scale; attend a giant pre-drink with a supposed accompanying going out plan and then just ghost everybody and go to bed. You’ll already have experienced the mass majority of the fun. It’s science.