There is no denying it, New Year’s Eve has a lot of pressure associated with it. Bars, clubs, parties and events tout it as The Biggest Night of The Year, and in many ways it is. The Champagne is flowing, the fireworks are exploding and people around the globe are dancing into the wee hours. It’s amazing how that buildup creates unrealistic expectations and if you are anything like me, you start to second-guess your plans. I have always admired those people who have said “You know, we’re just going to stay home, get comfortable, open a bottle of wine and watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV.” I’ve considered it a couple of times myself; maybe it’s my entertainment background, but I cannot seem to just follow their lead. I must go out and I must try to enjoy myself to the fullest, no matter what.

I have had some fabulous New Year’s Eves over the years, like when I was singing with a band at a packed bar, or when my best friend Lynne and I were invited to a private party on Old Crewe Road. There have been some spectacular dinners on the beach at The Ritz-Carlton and I have danced the night away with some gorgeous guy who I happened to meet that evening.

That being said, there have also been some ghastly ones. The one that most vividly comes to mind is me staggering along the sand at some ungodly hour of the morning, bawling my eyes out through the fatal combination of too much drink and entirely too much emotion. I unfortunately recall yelling the question at my date: “OK, but is this GOING anywhere??” as he tried to assist me home. That’s like catnip to men on New Year’s Eve – ultimatums from a swollen-eyed harpy. Unsurprisingly, I created my own answer to my query that night.

From the moment Dec. 1 comes around, we start wondering how we will spend New Year’s Eve. Should we spend money? Should we look for a free party? One great thing about fireworks is that you cannot be selfish with them, which is why some people simply grab some Champagne and snacks and find a good place on Seven Mile Beach to park themselves while they wait for the midnight show.

My criteria have changed as I’ve gotten older. For starters, I want easy access to toilets. I swear, I spent one night at a venue and paid for VIP tickets, but I still had to line up for ages for the toilets. About halfway through the night, the harried staff could not get in there enough times to unblock bowls and replenish toilet paper. That is my idea of personal hell. When I was looking at tickets for the upcoming KABOO festival, the first thing I looked for were priority toilets. I am not afraid to admit it.

Another thing is comfortable shoes. Sure, those Louboutins look gorgeous on you, but two hours later your feet are begging for mercy and you are stuck with shoes that will not fit in your cute little evening bag. I’m not saying wear sneakers (Oo! Sneakers NYE Party!) but be sensible about it, unless you want to end up with toes like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. Don’t believe me? Google that man’s tootsies.

In order to figure out what is going to give you the best night out, ask yourself what’s important to you. If you aren’t dating someone, odds are good you will want to hang out with friends. A lot of the time, that can work out to be much more fun (see: ultimatums from harpies). Do you like dancing? Live music? DJs? What is your budget like? What are you planning to wear and will you be comfortable? Honestly, it is amazing how an uncomfortable ensemble and shoes like something out of a fairy tale can really ruin your evening.

Whatever you do, really try to avoid overdoing it. I know it is supposed to be a no-holds-barred night, but do you want to start 2019 feeling like grim death? This year, New Year’s Day is a Tuesday, which means you will still have three days of work left to complete before you get another weekend. Bear that in mind.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for that night; do not force it. Just go with the flow. It is one of the biggest nights of the year, but if it is not all you hoped and dreamed, don’t worry – there’s another one coming around in 365 days.

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