Surprise, surprise. The world didn't explode on Dec. 21. Now we can all focus on saying goodbye to 2012 in grand fashion. Lucky for you, there are plenty of local businesses that have everything you'll need to celebrate the survival of the planet and the end of a year that brought us peplums, Bane voice, "Gangnam Style" and Channing Tatum's exquisite, exotic dance moves.
Hillcrest vintage boutique Flashbacks (3849 Fifth Ave.) is every hipster's go-to place for ironic Christmas sweaters and where bros find the perfect cheesy costume for their frat's pimps-and-ho's party, so it's no surprise that the shop has New Year's Eve on lock. If you're heading to, or throwing, a theme party, Flashbacks has a smorgasbord of costumes and accessories: fringe dresses, boas, pinstripe suits and fedoras for a Roaring '20s party. The Prohibition era isn't your bag? There are neon dresses and Miami Vice-style suits for an '80s shindig, disco-friendly wigs and polyester shirts.
Perhaps it's just a cool, funky accessory to go with a party dress or suit that you're looking for. Flashbacks comes through with mini top hats in different colors and styles. I love the glittery gold Mad Hatter mini top hat that's decorated with poker chips. There are basic red and black ones, and for the lady looking to get an engagement ring in 2013, a white top hat with a veil. It's possibly the least-subtle hint ever. For the fellas, there are bowties in a bunch of colors and prints, like hot-pink cheetah, sequins and polka dots, as well as cummerbunds and suspenders.
For more festive party hats, Gypsy Treasure (8119 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa) sells regular-sized top hats in glittery black and silver for $14.95. This is the one day of the year when you can rock a top hat without looking like Slash from Guns N' Roses.
If you want a more literal New Year's Eve head accessory, Buffalo Breath Costumes (2050 Hancock St. in Middletown) has headbands that read "Happy New Year" in blue, gold and silver for $7.50 each.
For the crafty types, you can find everything you need to make your own mask or party hat at Blick Art Materials (1844 India St. in Little Italy). It's got feathers, paint, glitter pens and other doodads you'd need to make a personalized accessory.
If there's one thing I can't resist, it's a dollar store. Something about the smell of cheap materials makes me want to blow half my paycheck. When you're in a pinch and flirting dangerously close to an overdraft charge, dollar stores are great for party goods. V- Outlet (1483 University Ave. in Hillcrest) doesn't disappoint. There are balloons, streamers, party poppers and confetti, all for less than $3. I even found party-favor packs that include a horn, mask and hat. Save yourself a trip to Party City.
Most people will be drunk by midnight, meaning that a friendly toast could result in disaster. Avoid that with Govino shatterproof champagne glasses, which you can buy in packs of four for $12.95 at Mixture (2210 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy). These glasses are stemless and made from a BPA-free polymer that can be re-used or recycled. A thumb notch indented into the glass not only looks cool but also gives you a better grip on your glass so you're less likely to drop it. But even if you did, it wouldn't break, making it ideal for butterfingered drunkies.
How about champagne for those glasses? Bine & Vine Bottle Shop (3334 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights) carries a curated selection of bubbly stuff. Owner Geoi Bachoua recommends Segura Viuda cava ($10 a bottle or $120 for a case).
And with that, you're all set for a night of fun. Goodbye, 2012! It's been great!