champagneAh, New Year’s Eve.  That sequin-covered, champagne-flavored night of the year where you dress to the nines, count down from 10, and secretly wish you were in bed at 11.

The question of how to spend this infamous evening is one couples have debated for years: should you spend the evening together, with a romantic dinner or quiet night on the couch, shunning the debauchery and sparkles of crazy parties?  Or should you get up, get out and be there for the champagne toast at midnight?  The He Said/She Said team weighs in:

She Said – by Elizabeth C.

Just.  Say.  No.  No to that huge party with an expensive per plate charge.  No to paying $125 to enter a bar where you normally order 50 cent wings on Tuesdays.  No to the old college friend’s annual champagne-soaked bash which always leaves you feeling like you’ve been hit by a semi truck on January 1.  Try it – you’ll thank me in the morning.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against confetti, sequins or champagne (especially not champagne), but New Years Eve is just not anyone’s time to shine.  Overhyped, overpriced and overserved, New Years Eve is never the night you imagine it will be.  Dress up and head out to that bash and chances are, you’ll be left with a broken noisemaker, a plastic “Happy New Years” hat on backwards and a headache in the morning.

The new year is all about NEW things, right?  So try something new this year.  Instead of ringing in the New Year with the party-loving fervor of your college days, try starting 2013 fresh, well-rested and well fed.  Make reservations at your favorite local restaurant for a romantic meal for two or a get-together with close friends.  Order take out and play board games.  If you still feel the need for a taste of glamour, rent a movie about New Year’s Eve – that’s the only place it’s going to be as sparkly and special and you imagine!

Ditch the glitz this year in favor of a meaningful night and see how it goes – I’m betting you’ll feel better, have more poignant (and less foggy) memories and won’t have missed out on anything at all.

He Said – by Phil V.

This is admittedly a tough one as I completely understand both sides of the argument but I have to say that New Year’s Eve is better spent with friends and family than as a self-contained date night.  This is the one day of the year that is as much about looking back as it is looking forward and what better time to surround yourself with the closest people in your life?  Now, having thought this one through for some time, I have come to the conclusion that no good can come from me outright saying I would rather spend New Year’s Eve with friends and not alone with my significant other, so I believe I have come up with a great compromise.

There is a way to get the best of both worlds from a New Year’s Eve celebration and I think that the night should start with an intimate dinner with only you and your partner.  The one-on-one dining experience is one that encapsulates everything that is great about a night out with a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, so why not make that the traditional part one of any great New Year’s Eve?  This ensures that you get as much private time as you want celebrating the year, and looking ahead, with the person most important to you while not forgoing the opportunity to ring in the New Year with the other most important people in your life.  Dinner can be quick, or prolonged, but while you are at the restaurant the night belongs only to the two of you, while the allure of celebrating with the larger groups waits for you at your next stop.  I’ve had several New Year’s Eve dinners with my spouse that were absolutely the highlight of my night, but we also had the opportunity to join our family and friends to ring in the new year and celebrate into the night.  Just because you are now with a larger group that does not mean that you can’t steal one more intimate moment with your partner as the clock strikes midnight.

This compromise can truly give everyone what they want.  The traditional party waits while you still get the anticipation of planning the perfect date with your partner. Picking the restaurant, deciding what to wear and what to order while enjoying a delicious meal with the person most important to you does not need to be sacrificed to spend the first seconds of the New Year with a larger group of family and friends.  Simply keep your date night and head over to the party when you are ready.  Now, don’t look at your watch and groan as your partner slowly chips away at his or her crème brulee because you are only thinking of what you are missing at the party.  Commit to savoring the time alone with your partner and the party will be there for you when you are both ready.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  Dining out or eating in? Date night or a large party? Let us know in the comments below and have a safe and happy New Year from Restaurant.com and The Dish!