8 Ways to Welcome 2021

It is almost time to celebrate the end to this chaotic, unpredictable rollercoaster of a year. Unfortunately, the central obstacle of 2020 – the pandemic – will continue into 2021 and affect how we celebrate. Under Governor Wolf’s latest mitigation efforts, indoor dining and indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited through January 4. The CDC recommends keeping indoor New Year’s celebrations to just those in your household. Staying home with your quarantine crew doesn’t have to be a drag though. Hopefully these ideas can help your family make the best out of another COVID holiday.


Watch the iconic Times Square ball drop. The streets of Time Square will remain relatively empty as the ball drop will be a virtual event this year. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will air at 6 p.m. on ABC and will feature virtual performances leading up to midnight.


Have your own ball drop. Craft your own ball – or whatever shape you prefer – to drop at midnight. Create it out of papier-mâché or leftover cardboard from Christmas. You could even fill it with treats for a midnight piñata surprise! This DIY project from Giggles Galore is a decorated foam ball on a wooden dowel that you can lower every hour until midnight.


Enjoy local fireworks displays. If you live in Lancaster city, there will still be some New Year’s festivities to enjoy, despite the cancellation of the Red Rose countdown. There will be fireworks displays at 8 p.m. at Hand Middle School (Southeast Lancaster city) and Thomas Armstrong Blvd (Northwest Lancaster city). Mobile DJs will also be playing music throughout the city from 6-8 p.m. Haydn’s Jug Drop in East Petersburg will be virtual this year, but they will still have a fireworks display starting at 9 p.m. after the jug drop.


Zoom celebrations. No doubt that Zoom celebrations are getting old, but virtual game nights can still be fun, especially with a variety of 2020-themed games. To name just a few ideas, you could create a trivia game (my friends and I often use Kahoot) with personalized questions about events or memories made throughout the year. You could host the 2020 Awards with open-ended prompts like “Best Moment of the Year” or “Biggest Lesson of the Year.” Two Resolutions and a Lie is also another easy game to play virtually.


Plan a game night at home. If you have Zoom fatigue, organize an exciting game night with the people in your household. Play whatever board games you have in the house or organize other activities, like word searches, scavenger hunts and bingo. If you have younger kids, prepare a different activity for every hour as you count down to midnight.


Get cozy and have a movie marathon. Order some take-out from your favorite local restaurant, put on some pajamas and gather in front of the TV. If you want to stay with the New Year’s theme, you could watch movies like New Year’s Eve or Rudolph’s Shiny New Year as well as festive episodes from your favorite TV shows.


Dress up to stay home. If you are itching to return to the pre-COVID days of ringing in the new year at your favorite bar or club, create the experience in your own home. Change out of your usual sweatpants and hook up the party lights and speakers. Put your favorite songs from this year in a playlist and dance the night away in the comfort of your own home.


Get sentimental. It wasn’t an easy year for anyone. Making it to the end of 2020 is a big accomplishment and a blessing. If you are sentimental like me, look back on the people and small joys that got you through this year with a slideshow or video compilation.

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