#1: Serve Up the Same Dishes
Partying with your friends but missing your long-distance bae? Why not plan parties on both sides and make the exact same dishes? Or, you can even spend time alone and eat the same foods as each other, which will bring you one step closer to each other on that special night of nights. One-person meals can be simple but try to avoid TV dinners. Heating something in the microwave may be convenient but hardly romantic. Instead, spend the day collaboratively cooking in your respective kitchens. There's a little planning involved to make sure you both have the right ingredients, but it's a fun experience that will culminate in a night of culinary celebration.
#2: Have Breakfast Together Over Zoom
Start your New Year's Eve right by sharing a virtual breakfast to set the tone for the rest of the day. It can be cereal or a more elaborate meal, but what you eat doesn't really matter. You can even celebrate with a birthday cake, or... well, a New Year's Even cake! Breakfast is a good time to spend on video chat, sharing your plans for the new year, making resolutions, and possibly setting a date when you can physically be together again. Now that vaccines will be rolled out throughout the world, it's only a matter of time before travel gets back to normal and visiting each other is possible once again.
#3: Send a Kissing Selfie - Or Kiss the Phone!
If you can't share a kiss in person when midnight strikes, send each other a kissing selfie beforehand so you can be prepared. Alternatively, you can do it live. Just make sure your phone is slobber-resistant before you French all over it! A simple peck will do. Seriously, though, "through the kissing glass" should be this New Year Eve's main theme as the pandemic rages on.
#4: Light Some Fireworks Together
Crackers, sparklers, or even glow sticks are good enough to get anyone into a festive mood. Rather than focus on being apart, focus on what you can share together, even if it's virtual. Set your phones on a stand or somewhere they won't fall off and perform a mini fireworks display just for your significant other. The sparks will surely fly!
#5: Read to Each Other in Bed
Not into raucous celebrations? Why not curl up with a good book and take turns reading to each other? Find something you both have read and would love to read again and make a night of it via Zoom. We recommend that you really get into the mood by making hot chocolate, getting into comfortable nightwear, and maybe even put on some mood music in the background to make the experience even more engaging.
#6: Set Up a Pseudo Vacation at Your Respective Locations
Is there a holiday spot both of you have been to and loved in the past? Try recreating that at your respective locations and have a friendly competition to see who can make it more realistic. This gets your creative juices flowing and throws a little fun into the mix as you plot and plan against each other to create a life-like setting resembling your favorite holiday spot. Use as many authentic items as you can find but don't go overboard shopping for stuff. You can even declare a winner at the end of it and put up an enticing prize like a dinner at a fancy restaurant or some other fun activity.
#7: Virtual Murder Mystery Party
Yep, they have those now. Just get online and log in with different accounts, and the entire night is taken care of. There's little else that can keep you continuously occupied for hours together and spending precious time with each other. This kind of experience can even strengthen your bond as you discover your long-distance partner's penchant for solving mysteries. Another great idea is a virtual escape room to help you flex that gray matter. You might discover you've been dating a Nancy Drew all this time and had no clue about it!
#8: Sync-watch a Movie Together... and Don't Forget the Popcorn!
You can do this over Skype or Zoom, but the better option is to use something like MyCircleTV or Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension. These allow you to sync-watch movies and videos at the same time with a group of friends. For 2021 New Year's Eve, it can be just the two of you watching a romantic tearjerker or an action flick - depending on who gets to choose. Don't fight over it, though. It's a long night so there's enough time for The Bridges of Madison Country AND Transformers!
#9: A Baking Duel
Do both of you love making cookies or cake? Why not have a virtual bake-off to see who can make the most delicious chocolate chip cookies in the shortest time? Of course, each of you will need a second person (your besties) to test the results and collaborate on picking a winner. It's a fun project that can go through the evening and right through to midnight, after which the four of you can sync-watch a movie.
#10: Throw Them and Their Friends a Party
Get in touch with one of their good friends and organize a special surprise party without their knowledge. Your boo won't know as long as the friend is good with secrets. You can decide on a decoration theme they'd like, the foods they love, and maybe some special entertainment, too. You can be hosted on Zoom as his or her friends shout, "Surprise"! For that matter, you don't even have to make it a surprise party, although that's a whole lot more fun. You can just get one of their friends to help them set up an informal gathering of close friends or family members. It's the thought that counts.
#11: Do a DIY Spa Night
Facemasks, pedicures, footbaths, or a long soak in the tub with your favorite aromatherapy oils - these will help you unwind after a tough year, so do it together and have the line open while you're relaxing. Talk about good times of the past and your plans for the future. The best time to make plans is when your mind and body are totally relaxed. Have a glass of your favorite wine handy as well, and make a truly memorable night of it. Right before midnight strikes, put on your favorite jammies, brew up a cup of hot chocolate, and lay in bed to welcome the new year together.
#12: Visualize your Futures
This is a very potent exercise, especially when two people with the same goals do it. Help each other achieve those goals in the future by creating vision boards for 2021. Where will each of you be? What jobs will you have? What kind of income will you be enjoying by a specific time? Make sure your vision boards have pictures, text, and specific dates. A strong desire to achieve something, the will to make it happen, and a date by when you expect it to happen... these are the ingredients for success in any endeavor. If one of your goals is to be together again before another year has gone by, make that part of your vision board. Whatever you think is realistically achievable in 2021 is allowed on your board. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less.
#13: New Year Resolutions - Two are Better than One!
What are your respective resolutions for 2021? It's different from the goals in your vision board in that resolutions need to be followed right away, while goals need to be worked towards. So, dig deep into habits you want to get rid of and some you want to inculcate, and help each other stay strong on your respective roads. Some things can be a resolution and go on your vision board as well, like losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date. The activities you will do to achieve that will be your resolution, while your target weight will be the goal on your vision board. You'll need both to make it happen, but when it does, you'll both be overjoyed and ready to embark on a new challenge together. Remember, two heads are always better than one, so use your long-distance relationship to mutual advantage and follow your resolutions as one.
#14: Host Talent Shows for Each Other
A fun New Year's Eve activity would be to host a talent night just for the other person. It can be a fashion show, a stand-up comedy routine, a mime show, a puppet show, or just about anything else that will keep the other person entertained for a few hours. Take turns so that both of you get to enjoy and appreciate the other's talents. Hard-pressed for ideas? Why not do a poetry reading or showcase a skill for interior design by arranging your living space and sharing that with your long-distance partner, friend, family member, or spouse?
#15: A Long-distance Date
Instead of just getting on a video call, why don't the two of you make or order-in an elaborate dinner and dine together virtually? Candles, a five-course meal, fine wine, and a cognac nightcap right around midnight will really hit the sweet spot for both of you. Make it official by dressing up as if you're going on a real date. A dinner gown and a tux will make it even more authentic, and you can watch an operatic performance well into the night. It will be a truly memorable New Year's Eve, and something you'll be waiting to share with friends and colleagues after the long weekend.
#16: Dance Together on Video Chat
Do both of you love to go out dancing? Why break with tradition when you can do it virtually. Put together a special playlist on Spotify or Apple Music or whatever, and play it through your home theater set up for surround sound. Make sure the mic volume on your phone or PC/laptop is just right so it doesn't jar at the other end. And then dance the night away, only stopping for a phone-kiss at midnight and an "I love you" to welcome 2021.
#17: Crafting Together
Wondering how to spend the day together on New Year's Eve? Why not get some DIY craft supplies and put together some handmade gifts for each other. You can ship them a day or two later but the experience will be a lot of fun, especially if one of you has no clue what they're doing! Try some simple projects like wind chimes or wall hangings. It's not about who can make the better DIY item; it's about sharing an experience that you'll remember for a long time. Be sure to take lots of selfies during the process or record the whole thing while you're on video chat. That way, you'll have memories of it that you can relive any time you want.
#18: Do Tarot Readings for Each Other
You don't have to get real Tarot cards for yourselves. There are sites where you can do a Tarot reading for someone and they're just as much fun. Plus, you'll have ready resources to interpret the meanings of the cards that are picked. Alternatively, you can hire a virtual astrologer, conference them in, and have them read your birth charts. It's not that expensive and you'll probably learn a lot about yourself in the process, even if you don't fully believe in astrology as a science. What's important is that you spend time together and figure out stuff about each other that you might not otherwise discuss.
#19: Make a New Cocktail to Celebrate 2021
Lots of bartenders these days are going back to their roots and reinventing classic cocktails that have been around for years. Why not do the same thing between the two of you. Each of you can get different ingredients, spirits, liqueurs, and cocktail accessories and try different combinations of cocktails you've had before. All the information you need is available online, and you can try tweaks and variations all night to settle on the one you want to declare as "Our Cocktail for 2021." It's sure to be a big hit with your friends as well, so invite others to join the virtual cocktail party and get drunk the right way!
#20: Send a Surprise Gift - Fast Shipping, Please!
It's not too late. You can still order a pair of Friendship Lamps or another gift that will reach you in the next few days. Of course, there's no guarantee you'll get it on Dec. 31, but it's still a good idea to gift someone a thing of true value. Friendship Lamps are basically a pair or set of table lamps that connect to the local Wi-Fi network in their respective locations and then link to each other over the Internet. Once you set each of them up and associate them with a particular color (each lamp offers 10 options), every time you tap the top of one lamp, the other lamp or lamps will instantly light up in the color associated with the first lamp. It's an amazing way to stay in touch and stay connected when you're in a long-distance relationship. It's a quick way to say "I love you" or "I'm thinking about you" without having to pick up your phone and send a text or make a call, and it is non-intrusive at the other end as well. You can order them at this link.
#21: Play a Virtual Board Game
There are plenty of sites that allow you to play two-play games virtually. Pick a favorite game from your younger days or learn a new game. It's a lot of fun and it's super-easy to set up. You may need to register an account and sign in, but it won't take you more than a few minutes to be up and running. Virtual monopoly is a great choice that will go all night, or pick your own favorite.
#22: Write a List of Questions to Ask Each Other - or Play Truth or Dare!
The simple version of this is to put together a list of questions for each other and shoot them off one by one on a video chat. This is especially useful when you're just starting a new long-distance relationship because you can learn a lot about the person in a very short amount of time. You can also turn it into a game of Truth or Dare, where you ask very personal questions about their past and they either tell you the truth or do a dare that you set for them. If you want to get really naughty, how about a game of Truth or Dare Strip? Santa's already gone for the year so be as naughty as you want on the last night of 2020!
#23: Send an Email from the Heart
Nobody writes personal emails these days, so take the opportunity to pour your heart out in words and shoot off an email with strict instructions that it is to be read after midnight on Dec. 31 only. In the email, you can encapsulate what you love about the person, refresh old memories of times together, and even put in some ideas for both of you to try out for 2021. You can also include your deepest dreams and desires. In other words, take this opportunity to bare your heart to the one you love. It is extremely cathartic, will be received with much love and appreciation, and it will set you up for a fresh new year ahead, looking forward to new dreams and aspirations for your lives and for your relationship with each other.
#24: Put Together a Photo or Video Slideshow of the Year Gone By
You've probably collected a ton of memories on your phone over the year. How you dealt with the pandemic, new things you tried, new people you met... put it all together in a slideshow with music. There are lots of smartphone apps that can do this, including Google Photos, but the options are virtually limitless. It's actually a great idea for both of you to do this, especially if you spent the better part of 2020 separated by physical distance. It will give you a glimpse into the other person's life when you're not around, and that can be very insightful for both of you. Add selfie videos or video clips of your memories to add some zip to your slideshow, and choose a favorite song or soundtrack to give it an emotional twist. In the end, you can add a selfie video telling them how much you love them and how much you're looking forward to a new year of fresh experiences with them. Guaranteed to make the toughest person bawl like a baby!