There's often an expectation that New Year's Eve must involve big parties, free-flowing champagne, and a kiss at midnight. But the event doesn't always have to be that grand for it to be memorable. In fact, some people prefer their New Year's Eve celebrations to be much more low-key.
To find out what created that special spark, we searched Reddit to see what people said their most memorable New Year's Eve was like. Their answers prove that different things make the night special for different people, and that you don't need to attend a fancy party to have an amazing time.
Check out some of their responses below:
1. Simply looking at the stars.
"1999. Me, my mom and dad, and my older brother just laid [on] a blanket on the driveway, and stared at the stars while the new millennium rolled in." — SgtWiggles
2. Just playing a video game with a good friend.
"I was at my friends house (we were 5-6) and playing Mario Kart on her GameCube. We had been playing all night, until a bunch of adults came downstairs and said 'Happy New Year!' Our response? 'Move! We can't see the screen!' Since they were standing in front of it. I miss that." — ouchimus
3. Having a steak dinner.
"My boyfriend at the time took me out for a nice steak dinner, then we went back to his house and watched the ball drop. To most, it wouldn't be anything special, but for us, at the time, it was." — notnatalie
4. Reconnecting with an old friend.
"Last December, I returned home after moving 200+ miles away and felt like kind of a failure. I had tried to be independent and daring in a new city, and had lasted less than a year.
A friend from high school and college invited me to a party with people I hadn't seen in months, and I was excited to see people I loved. I bought a new dress, made a pie and made my way there.
I re-met a guy who I had known for years, but we hadn't been close before that night. We started talking, and haven't stopped talking since — we were dating less than 3 months later. I owe a lot of my confidence and strength from the last year to him, and I haven't been as happy with myself or any relationship before this guy came around. I honestly believe that party changed my life. Best New Years ever." — funkminister
5. Going to see a band.
"December 31 2013 — I drove an hour and a half to see one of my favorite band's play a New Year's show. The tickets were more expensive than usual, but the whole evening was a party and they had dinner (pizza, salad, garlic knots, drinks) included. It was such a wonderful evening!" — dancingastronaut
6. Sharing a nice meal with family.
"The last new years I spent with my parents together in 2003. My mom was in the hospital due to a seizure from MS [multiple sclerosis], and my dad and her had a tradition of lobster on new years. Even though I hated lobster (hey, I was 13) I ended up cooking it and bringing it to the hospital for them to share. We got to be together for midnight. It was awesome. My dad passed away two months later unfortunately. My mom is still here, but that was probably my favorite day. They were able to have one more shared lobster dinner to ring in the new year." — tarraaa
7. Flying home.
"Last year I was on a flight headed home for Christmas (celebrate on Jan 7) with my mom. We got a little buzzed on the flight. We crossed over into midnight somewhere in between Scotland and Northern Ireland. The pilot came on the PA system, made the announcement and the whole flight cheered. Simple, but really memorable to me." — treepaper
8. Watching TV and drinking virgin cocktails with friends, old and new.
"High School. 1988. Stayed overnight with my BFF. We drank virgin Pina Colada's and watched Dirty Dancing on the VCR ... then her older brother came home half wasted with his best friend, who I had a MAJOR crush on (and who'd been voted the best looking guy at the school). They just chilled out with us and watched the movie, and we all just talked and laughed. Nothing remotely naughty happened and I still felt massively cool because from that night on, one of the most popular seniors at our high school would smile and say 'Hi!' to me. Thrilled me to my toes every time. I miss that feeling." — streamstroller
"Having variously spent it at home with children, out partying seriously hard I have for the last 14 years chosen to work. I cook and serve a private dinner for the same group of people. The best nights don't happen to order, new year is busy and expensive. I now know these people really well, I drink and eat the same as they do, so I spend the evening in congenial company and wake clear headed the next day with money in my bank. Perfect." — mackduck
10. Celebrating with a big chunk of chocolate.
"Millennium party. I was 10 so I didn't get the magnitude but it was insane. All our family friends had come over, so maybe 70 people. Ten pounds of Ghiradelli chocolate 'cake,' slab which we broke apart with a hammer. Dancing until 5 a.m., and several grandmas doing the Macarena in unison. We still find the glitter from that party in the nooks and crannies of the house. Everyone had a blast and only left once my dad suggested breakfast." — duffman1260
11. Eating candy.
"When I was about ten, I went an entire year without candy because of a bet I had with my grandpa. As the fireworks were exploding all around on the New Year's eve that marked the end of my candy exile, I stuffed my face with chocolate. It was glorious." — nothingprivate
12. Seeing a proposal.
"My best New Year's Eve was when I saw my friend propose to his now wife." — iMine4Dub
How are you going to spend your New Year's Eve?
Cover image via Captain Yeo I Shutterstock