This year, I seem to know a record amount of people who have decided to bag a New Year's Eve celebration and instead stay home -- alone. Yep, they don't even have a friend or spouse with them. One friend lost everything in Hurricane Sandy and simply doesn't feel like whooping it up when she's knee deep in trying to reconstruct her home. Another can't stand going out into the bitter cold (it is waaaay colder than last year, at least here in NYC). Yet another will babysit her sleeping child while her husband goes out to party -- just as he did for her last NYE. Another is too tired from partying last night. Reasons abound, but it's unprecedented in my circle, so I'm thinking other people must be noticing the same thing.

Here are 8 ways you can still celebrate the New Year -- all by yourself.

Do everything you can't do any other time. Being alone, and knowing that the phone won't ring because everyone else is busy at a bash, is a great way to do some of those things you keep saying you'll do when you have time. Here's the time. Download a book you've been meaning to read -- or start that one you've been meaning to write. Take a bubble bath. Do your nails. Catch up on sleep. Whatever it is you keep moaning you'll do one of these days.

Act like it's any other night. Because, you know, it is. In reality, this night is like every other: It gets dark, you sleep, it gets light, you wake up. The numbers on the calendar will change, but everything else in your life will be exactly the same. No sense in putting a bunch of pressure on yourself to act like this is such an incredibly special evening if you're not feeling it.

Call your other alone friends. Two alone people on the phone aren't alone.

Cuddle up with your pets. You're never alone with your best furry pals, who will no doubt be thrilled having a whole night of you. Notice they don't care that it's New Year's Eve!

Catch up on work. Sounds unromantic, but if there's work you've been avoiding or just haven't had time to do, might as well be now. Returning emails tonight might be a tad embarrassing as you're announcing you stayed home on NYE, but on the other hand, it's a great way to return them and not immediately get another email back giving you more work.

Make a gratitude list. If you're feeling down about being alone on NYE, make a list of all of the things that worked out well this year, even if those things are small. Maybe you lost two pounds. Maybe someone complimented you. Maybe you're just healthy and there's nothing horribly wrong with you. Maybe you have a home with running water and heat. Maybe your friends and family are alive. Be grateful for it all.

Online shopping. Lots of sites, like Groupon, are having NYE discount specials. Why not stay home and plan your next NYE on some sunny tropical isle? You can do it for a lot less tonight than if you did it next week.

Watch TV. There are plenty of NYE specials on tonight. Grab a bottle of cheap champagne and pour a few while watching the festivities. You can always stare agog the craziness in Times Square and thank your lucky stars it's not YOU out there freezing your privates off so you can watch a glass ball drop from a building. (Silly, right?)

Have you ever spent NYE alone?

 

Image via Duncan/Flickr