Flint, MI– Of all the New Year’s Eves the world has celebrated, this year’s just might be the one most eagerly and excitedly welcomed. 

The end of 2020. We thought it may never come.

But because of this year’s seemingly never-ending series of unfortunate events, the celebration of this glorious day is going to have to be a little different.

The usual crowded bars, clinking of drinks, and kissing at midnight are obviously ill-advised due to the global pandemic that’s been ravaging the nation. Even screaming when the clock strikes 12 might be a bad idea–apparently the louder you speak, the more COVID-19 germ particles can spread. 

But fear not! From the fun reporters at Flint Beat, here is a list of safe activities to celebrate the New Year. 

  • Have your own “live” concert experience right at home

One thing I miss most about the Old World is being able to go to concerts. The loud music that left your ears pounding, dancing next to sweaty strangers, being too short to see anything, the inevitable post-concert depression…OK, I promise I love concerts.

You can recreate your own concert experience at home! Queue up some of your favorite bands’ (bonus points if they’re Flint artists like Tha Beast Lani, Lil Lurka, YN Jay, etc.) live concert videos or music videos. Get some mood lighting going, and pour yourself a Vodka Cran that’s way too strong to actually enjoy, and there you go!

You can adjust the volume to your liking, you won’t get pushed around by especially aggressive dancers (or if you’re the aggressive dancer you won’t push anyone else around–like me for example) and you will be able to see everything! (The depression might still be there, though. I can’t do anything about that.) — Amy Diaz

  • Be glamorous. Even if it’s just you in your living room.

New Year’s Eve is all about being glamorous. It is one of the greatest excuses we have to wear over-the-top accessories, glitter, and channel our inner superstar. One year, I passed out stick-on face gems to everyone at every bar I went to. That’s not an option this year, but that’s fine! More face gems for me!

So pick out an outfit that makes you feel like a diva. Diva fashion staples include: chunky jewelry, fur coats, sequins, anything with feathers, and sparkly makeup. 

If you can’t go out to impress people, you can always go online. Share your looks on social media, and pretend the likes and comments you get are coming from a drunk girl you meet in the bathroom. “You’re literally soooo gorgeous.” Drunk girls in bathrooms are always so nice. –Amy Diaz

Flint Beat photojournalist KT Kanazawich dresses up her dog, Sheryl, to party at home. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

  • Start drama with your dog.

Nights out on the town always make for good stories and, of course, lots of drama–especially on New Year’s Eve. The stakes are high. Because you gotta find the perfect outfit, the perfect party and the perfect New Year’s kiss.

All of that adds up to shenanigans. Someone gets too drunk. Wine and sweat inevitably stain your bestie’s cocktail dress and (if you’re like me) your crush kisses some rando they just met when clock strikes midnight.

Cue the tears and mascara smudges.

Though you’ll be at home this NYE, use your dog as hype subsitute. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time with them this year so I’m sure there’s some pent up frustrations. Here’s a few suggestions if you’re looking for a drama-filled evening:

  • Get your dog to sit on the couch with you and when they leave, accuse them of cheating on you with another human
  • Force them to wear a matching outfit
  • Trim their nails
  • Ask them if they want to “go outside” (or whatever phrase they like to hear) and don’t do it
  • Invite your neighbor’s cat over for a visit

See? Fido can provide all the NYE excitement you need. — Carmen Nesbitt

  • Host a virtual NYE party

I’ve been in enough video calls to know….they’re kind of awful. There’s just so many technical problems I encounter. Mysterious echoes. Lags. Frozen screens. My mom organized a Zoom call for my whole family over the holidays, and then spent the first 20 minutes of it trying to turn her microphone on. If you haven’t been in a video call yourself, I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials. You know, the Progressive one where they’re trying to be relatable? Too relatable. 

But, we must make do with what we have. 

Gather some friends and family– ideally you’re looking for people that can make even the most frustrating of technology something to laugh about. You will also want someone who’s like, pretty good with technology, maybe. Dress up together, bring a beverage, take a group photo of all your heads in the little squares. Just avoid all screaming “Happy New Year!” right at midnight– your computer might explode. — Amy Diaz

  • Make it about the kids

Editor Scott Atkinson here–the lame dad of the Flint Beat crew. Reading this article before I publish it…I am certainly learning a lot about the team today.

Anyway, here’s my two cents: Over the past few years my wife and I usually find some old friends to team up with, shove all the kids somewhere else, and only check in on them if there’s a thud loud enough to suggest serious injury.

This year, the kids are the only ones we have to party with…and to be honest, I’m kind of excited about that. So I’m stocking up on sparkling grape juice today, and pulling out some of the favorite board games we don’t play enough (I need to redeem myself in Clue, anyway) and try out the ones they got from their Uncle Marvin for Christmas. I’ll tell the jokes that my kids at least think are funny (take that Flint Beat crew) and we’ll have a ball. Maybe we’ll even make it till midnight. — Scott Atkinson

  • Pretend to be a firework.

I’m not sure what this means, but you’re welcome to try. Be careful. — Amy Diaz

  • Please don’t pretend to be a firework

I don’t know what that means, either, but let me officially say that whatever it may mean and however you interpret it, Flint Beat in no way endorses “pretending to be a firework.” Is that good enough, or do I need to call the lawyers? — Scott Atkinson

  • Wallow in abject despondency until 2020 ends

While these tips are creative and full of that end-of-year energy we dearly need, we need to be a bit more honest with ourselves. As 2020 has taught us, time is an illusion and its passage one big delusion. Nihilists of Flint unite. If nothing matters and the earth will keep spinning whether you’re on it or not, why not treat the earth the same way?

My suggestion to you dear reader? Just play video games for the next 12 hours (that’s what I’ll be doing). Alright, you don’t have to play video games necessarily but maybe try doing something you know will make time pass quickly. If you like cooking, cook. If you like reading, read. If for some reason you’re into pretending you’re a firework, pretend you’re a firework. 
The point is this, NYE is usually about celebrating the year to come. We commune with our friends and family, talk about how we’re all going to be our best selves the coming year and politely smile while thinking “bullshit” in our heads. 2020 is different. Unless the world literally meets a catastrophic end in 2021, we KNOW it’s going to be a better year. That’s why this NYE has to be about kicking out the old year rather than ringing in the new one. 

What better way to do that than pretending 2020 never happened and moving on with our lives? Who knows, if we all kill time simultaneously, this cursed year will end before we even know it. 

But DON’T forget to call mom and dad. — Santiago Ochoa

  • Do anything while drinking champagne.

The classic New Year’s Eve icon is, of course, champagne. It’s so dramatic, just like the holiday is. From the name, to the pop, to the bubbles, champagne is the perfect way to pretend like you’re having the most exciting time of your life celebrating the end of this miserable year. 

You can drink it in a tub, you can drink it on a rug. You can drink it on a couch, you can drink it in your mouth. You can drink it while taking a creative risk…but maybe you shouldn’t. — Amy Diaz

  • Reflect on the past year

Somehow, time went by so fast and also so slow. Take some time to think about all that’s happened. It’s been a rough year for everyone, but look at you! You’re still here! If you can get through this, you can most definitely get through anything else life has to throw at you.

You can come up with goals and resolutions for next year, but make sure you give yourself some credit for everything you’ve handled so far. Virtual high-fives and hugs all around.  –Amy Diaz

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

Santiago Ochoa is Flint Beat's Latinx Community reporter. He is always looking to write about anything Flint or Latinx. He especially enjoys investigative reporting and human-interest stories. A communications...

Scott Atkinson has been reporting on Flint for more than fifteen years. He spent several years as a reporter for The Flint Journal and is the editor of "Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology," a collection of...