A popular Tik-Tok song for teens to mimic is Marv Allen’s “Out the Frame.” Listening to the catchy chorus, one can easily imagine the hip-hop star referencing 2020 to “beat it out the frame.” In fact, many of us are eager to say good riddance to 2020 in hopes for a more normal 2021. Pandemic problems, racial riots, school closures, economic hardship, and election woes all lent to a weary year. Yet, even in the midst of an upside down world, Americans discovered new avenues to connect. Employing technological ingenuity and creativity, friends and family found ways to demonstrate love and kindness. In doing so, many of us unveiled spiritual, physical, and professional growth.

For example, NV real estate agent Amy Bryant of Palm Beach, Florida appreciates more than ever “quality time with family, cooking, discovering new recipes, phone calls with close friends (especially those who live far away.” She notes, “This year made me realize the importance of a strong online presence in the real estate business, which is one of the biggest reasons why I joined the NV team. I wouldn’t have stepped out of my comfort zone and made a change in my real estate career, had this year taken a different turn.”

Connecting with family is a theme that NV Realty professional Cherie Gallagher of Charleston, South Carolina also shares. She recalls the following anecdote:

“Both our son and daughter graduated from college in 2019 and began their exciting "adult jobs" in far-flung cities. Shortly after their orientation and training, the pandemic forced their companies to suspend office operations and require them to work from home, and they accepted the invitation to work from our house! Yay!

Growing up, these two displayed every sort of sibling rivalry! They couldn't stand to hear the other chew, or breathe!!! We were one step away from Dr. Phil! Eventually, they went to different colleges, the competition slowed, and they had polite but distant contact; that's probably how it would have been forever. Except .... COVID! ..... and we began living in the same house again! The pandemic has taught our family something uniquely wonderful! We like each other! We enjoy spending time together! We have more in common than we thought, and we could actually be supportive friends! Thanks, 2020! You aren't so bad after all!”

These two examples are backed by countless others that share the same thematic elements: reconnecting with family, growing professionally, accepting what one can not control, and learning to adapt to circumstances. Though 2020 leaves a lifetime mark, the lessons are positive and progressive. Because despite the turmoil and unrest, Americans persevered.

So, how do you plan to say goodbye to 2020? Many of the fancy galas and firework shows are cancelled; however, once again, local Floridians find ways to celebrate the New Year. Here are few ideas for you and your family:

Backyard Bash

Just like Thanksgiving and Christmas, many families plan to stay home and socialize outside with nearby neighbors. Hosting a backyard bash is a safe way to see friends and toast in the new year. Have each family bring their own lawn chairs, coolers, and food. Or, order pizzas for everyone and call it a year. Either way, the casual celebration will be stress-free, simple, and super fun. If your neighborhood permits, stock up on fireworks and sparklers!

Restaurant Rendezvous

From SoSo (South of Southern) to Stuart, many restaurants across Palm Beach County are hosting New Year’s Eve parties. Of course, capacity is limited so advanced reservations and/or tickets are required. Additionally, the dining establishments require all patrons to wear masks unless sitting at their table. Some restaurants offer outdoor or patio seating, which is ideal for larger groups. A few locales include Monroe’s in West Palm Beach, Lilo’s in Lake Worth, Twisted Tuna in Jupiter, and Blue Pointe Barin Tequesta. 

Beach Party 

At sunset, meet up with your friends at your favorite beach access and enjoy sitting in the sand, taking a dip in the ocean, and breathing in the salt-infused air. Play a game of sand volleyball, spike ball, or beach bocce with your friends. The turquoise blue water, soft white sand, and cotton-candy colored skies create a peaceful backdrop to reminisce about the craziness of 2020 and the hopefulness of 2021.

Home Alone

If none of the above sounds appealing, there is no shame in staying in your pajamas and watching Lifetime movies. One lesson that 2020 has taught us is to be comfortable with our own selves. Learning to enjoy spending time solo and self-reflecting are hallmarks of 2020. End the year wearing fuzzy socks, sipping wine, and journaling your goals for 2021.

No matter how you opt to spend New Year’s Eve, congratulate yourself for making it through arguably one of the most exhausting years in recent history. In the poetic words of Jennifer Gayle, “treasure the smiles, good times, and memories / Leave behind the disappointments, hard times and enemies / Hold onto faith, hope, and beliefs / And may your new year be filled with love, joy and peace.”

From our home to yours… Happy New Year!

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