5 Things to Do If You Can't Get a Sitter on New Year's Eve

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’m not even talking about Christmahanukwanzaa, with its compulsory family time and gift-related anxiety. It’s almost New Year’s Eve!

New Year’s Eve is a night to set off fireworks and sparklers and to guzzle Champagne until you start seeing stars everywhere, even with your eyes closed. It’s a night to wear party hats and sequins, a night to wait for midnight to kiss that one person you were hoping to kiss. It’s the night where you watch one year turn into another and allow yourself to hope that the next 365 days will be better than the last ones.

Except last year, or perhaps the year before that, there was a night that didn’t end with just a kiss (you naughty little thing you). And nine months later, sequins were out of the question for a while (although more power to you if you can manage a sequined burp cloth!). You are a parent now, and if you thought cabs were scarce and expensive on New Year’s Eve, let me tell you, they’ve got nothing on babysitters.

So it’s Dec. 31 and you don’t have child care. You may think that you are doomed to a boring night, but it doesn’t have to be as boring as you think! Yes, even parents of small kids can have fun on New Year’s Eve. Here are a few suggestions for ringing in the New Year while being home with baby:

Throw your own damn party!

Remember how Before Kids, you would always say how most NYE parties were disappointing and overpriced? Well, you were right! So this year, throw your own. Invite your friends, put up some sparkly decorations, order some catering (please don’t attempt to cook; you’ll thank me later), and buy some booze. Also, encourage dressing up. It’s just as much fun as going out, and you can always put the baby down in another room without worrying.

Better yet, convince one of your friends to throw a party

All the benefits of the above, but you don’t have to handle logistics or cleanup. #Winning

Throw a very EXCLUSIVE party

So all your friends are childless free people and they’ve all made plans to go dancing at some club in a neighborhood whose name you’ve never heard (DoBro???). Never mind them! Throw a party to please just the (adult) people in your house. Order your favorite food. Watch your favorite movie. Listen to music and dance with your partner. Feel free to dress up, too; it’s hard to feel depressed when you’re literally sparkling.

Find a family-friendly event in your area

So, this is a bit more ambitious because it requires leaving your house. However, there are lots of fabulous community events on New Year’s Eve. For example, in Brooklyn, there is always a wonderful event in Prospect Park, with free music and fireworks. Pop the little one(s) in a stroller, bundle them up (if it’s cold where you live), and go out to mingle with the rest of the world. Pack a bottle of Champagne into your parka; no one will mind tonight.

Consider the positive

Think back to your younger and more carefree days. How often did you get your hopes up for a NYE party only to be disappointed? How many times did you spend way too much money for a couple of flutes of cheap Champagne and a crowded dance floor with a subpar DJ? And then your crush never even showed. The good news is, today, you are fully prepared for NYE to be underwhelming, and, according to the Rules of Life, it almost guarantees that you will have a better time than you expected!

And also, not to get sappy, but when the clock strikes midnight, nothing beats smooching your family. After all, New Year’s Eve is just one night out of the year, but it’s love that fills all the other nights with joy.