Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays with little ones. It is so magical seeing Christmas through the eyes of your tots. But, let's be honest, it is also so exhausting. We just finished up a round of twelve Christmas parties/functions over the last ten days. Twelve! Needless to say, now that New Years Eve is rolling around, the only thing I want to do is veg. Low-key is the idea.
A couple of years ago, David and I concocted up a new tradition: New Years Eve date night at home! Like any other night, we put the kids to bed around 7 PM. But instead of having a normal night crashing in front of the TV or doing chores around the house or passing out immediately (guilty as charged), we rang in the new year with an an at-home date night! It was easy, it was fun and, best of all... it was relaxing.
Here's my list for five things I think you need for the perfect New Years Eve date night at home.
1. A great menu.
This is definitely the number one priority. In 2014, David and I fed the kids an easy dinner (chicken sausage + avocado + apple slices always does the trick) and then, once we got them to bed, we started crafting a grand meal for ourselves. In the photo above, you can see our appetizer from last year- a prosciutto arugula and goat cheese wrap. So delish. Not sure what to cook? I've got a ton of fun food ideas pinned on my Pinterest food board or grab a good cookbook to get you inspired. I absolutely love Annette Joseph's Picture Perfect Parties. I was lucky enough to be gifted this book in person by Annette herself, a fellow Atlanta gal, but this book is definitely worth a trip to the bookstore or a place in your Amazon cart! She's got many different romantic Italian inspired party themes with complete menu ideas and even ideas to help make entertaining easy. I used her book to cook a big anniversary dinner at home for David and I this year- it would be perfect to create a New Years Eve feast at home, too!
If you're not up to cooking, David and I have also rang in the new year by ordering in from our favorite fancy restaurant. While it's be fun to go out and eat, you don't have much choice if the kiddos are asleep and babysitters are scarce on NYE! To be honest, after all of the Christmas cooking hullabaloo, we may end up ordering a sushi feast from our favorite Japanese restaurant this year!
2. A fun cocktail or nice bottle of wine.
A close second to the must-have good food is a must-have good beverage. Splurge on that fancy bottle of wine you've been eyeing or mix up a fun cocktail like these. If you're not a drinker, make a mocktail! Either way, treat yourself with a festive beverage.
3. A cute but comfy outfit.
You're at home. But it's still New Years Eve. So what do you wear? Comfy but cute. Think, skinny sweatpants and a festive glitter t-shirt. I have these weekend skinny sweats and lovvvvve them. Pair those with this sparkle elbow patch top and you've got an adorable but cozy outfit.
4. A fun board game.
Instead of camping out in front of the TV and watching lame NYE shows, keep the TV off and cuddle up with a warm blanket and your favorite board game. Our family favorites? The classics: Monopoly, Life and Taboo. I would love some other suggestions, though- what are your favorite adult board games?! You could also use the downtime to share New Years resolutions or even fun date night questions with your spouse. My friend Courtney has a great date night series where she lists all kinds of thoughtful questions and talking points to bring up both fun and serious topics.
5. A festive ambiance.
No, you don't have to go over the top with balloons or glitter confetti. But definitely put the kids to bed, crank up some slow jams and light a fire in the fireplace (assuming our weather ever turns cold!). A date night at home is only special if you make it special, otherwise it's just a regular night at home! Light some candles, put away the toys. Create a space that's just perfect for you and your partner to celebrate ringing in the new year.
Those are just a few ideas that David and I have used in the past to ensure an excellent New Years Eve date night at home. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, especially on new board games to try! And a very happy New Years to you! 2016 is going to be a good one, people!