The New Year's Eve Party Survival Guide

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December 31 Dangers

1. Don't leave the house without setting an ETD -- estimated time of departure -- with your date. You might plan to rock on into the night, but if your man assumes that you'll be bidding the hosts good-bye at 12:05, things could get pretty tense. Your best bet: Settle the matter beforehand.

2. Don't spread yourself too thin. You may be tempted to hit every party that you've been invited too -- after all, you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or miss out on any of the fun. But flitting from one party to the next is not just exhausting, it's also rude. You'll probably offend your hosts far more if you dash out the door at 9 p.m. than if you had simply sent your regrets.

3. Beware of the bottomless champagne flute. We all like to let loose on New Year's, and who doesn't adore those parties where the waiter keeps refilling your glass? But if you keep tossing back the bubbly, you may find yourself doing something you'll later regret -- like kissing a man at midnight that you'd never lock lips with in the cold light of sobriety.

4. Don't put all your trust in your driving skills. You could be a poster child for great driving -- sober, responsible, excellent reflexes. But those qualities will only take you so far on New Year's Eve, when the roads are sure to be clogged with people far less alert than you. So use extreme caution when driving.

5. Be careful that you don't respond too enthusiastically to certain New Year's resolutions. Keep in mind: If your fellow party guest announces that her New Year's resolution is to lose 40 pounds, get her nose fixed, or completely overhaul her wardrobe, "Great idea! I thought you'd never get around to that!" is not an appropriate response.


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