5 Brilliant Ways People Are Safely Celebrating This New Year's Eve

Insert something about "unprecedented times" here.

When I first began writing this article, I felt a bit cynical. "Socially distant parties? In 2020? Groundbreaking," I thought to myself with nary a glimmer of optimism. But lucky for you — and I say this without an ounce of sarcasm or shame — I was wrong.

As it turns out, plenty of people have embraced 2020's new reality and are planning to make the upcoming holiday every bit as as memorable as in years past — just in slightly different ways. (Read: Bar parties are still cancelled, y'all.)

Knowing that massive in-person gatherings and lots of travel plans are off the celebration table this year, Bustle teamed up with Barefoot Bubbly — the officially bubbly sponsor of Times Square New Year's Eve — to poll our friends about the creative, safe ways they plan to ring in the new year. A few things are familiar (like plenty of Barefoot Bubbly to go around!), and some are pleasantly unexpected (like the lack of strictly virtual party plans), but one thing is for certain: All of these ideas are recipes for a truly happy new year.

Keep scrolling for the best ideas I came across, and feel free to steal any (and all!) of them for your own at-home celebration. Cheers!

Enjoy A Feast Fit For Two

Plenty of us have our own must-have meals on special holidays, but I'm guessing that Lexi's NYE spread has most of us beat. She and her husband have a long-standing tradition of beginning their cozy, quiet, and low-pressure New Year's Eve with a run to New York City's Chelsea Market where they stock up on cheese, a fresh baguette, oysters, lobster, and if they're lucky, Dungeness crab. "We bring everything home, power up some video games, and don't go to bed until we've made our way through the feast — with plenty of wine, of course."

I'm loving these high-end vibes for Lexi, and I'm also loving my own low-key rendition which includes pizza bagels, chips, and watching the ball drop at midnight. You! Do! You!

Toast To Your Chosen Family

Aka your quarantine crew aka your roommates aka whoever makes you feel really special and really loved. That's what Barefoot Queen Eureka will be doing, and I've already decided that I'm totally copying her vibe. "The special part will be me celebrating with my chosen family," she says. "This circle of people are the ones that love me at my best and worst and whom have survived 2020 alongside me. There’s no better way than to bring in the new year together and popping a bottle of Barefoot Bubbly."

Looking to make the holiday special for you and your faves? Barefoot Bubbly is giving away 100 epic celebration kits that include champagne flutes, a wine chiller, and plenty of sparkling swag that's sure to start 2021 on an exciting note. Starting 12/1, you can enter the Bubbly NYE Sweepstakes over on the company's social page.

Rethink Your Traditional Party

If you're like Jackie and prefer to host the holiday festivities, then you can always steal her idea and pare down your usual soiree. "I typically try to host New Year's Eve so I don't have to leave my house (life hack!), and so I have an excuse to make a big, festive bowl of sparkling punch with fresh citrus. This year, it's likely to be me, my partner, and our two dogs on the couch, but I don't care! I'm still making the punch." Cheers to that.

Find New Ways To Sparkle

If anything in life is guaranteed, it's that drag queens always have the best New Year's Eve plans, and 2020 will be no different. Though her holiday usually involves traveling and performing out of town, this year Barefoot Queen Raja is channeling her favorite festivities and superstitions from home. "I believe that one should go into the new year with a tidy home, and clean laundry. So the days leading up to New Year's Eve, I’m cleaning everything!" But her countertops and floors won't be the only things sparkling come December 31. "My focus is always to sparkle whether it be in my wardrobe or in my glass" with midnight toast of her favorite Barefoot Bubbly, she says.

End The Year With Some Peace & Quiet

For New Year's Eve in 2019, Mike took a new approach to celebrating that he plans on recreating this year: "Last year, I took my first New Year's Eve off from 'partying' and went to a two-hour guided meditation service in Greenpoint," he says, noting that this helped him start the new year with a clean slate. As for 2020? While his day most likely won't include a crowded meditation room, Mike plans to keep the meditation tradition going at home, with a nice brunch and a bubbly toast the morning after.

Charmat Method California Sparkling Wine: Secondary Fermentation Before Bottling, ©2020 Barefoot Cellars, Modesto, CA. All rights reserved.

This post is sponsored by Barefoot Bubbly.