The last thing you want to worry about when ringing in the new year is where to put the apostrophe. Get the nitty-gritty on New Year, New Year’s, and New Years' so you can make a toast at midnight and get your punctuation right while you’re at it.
When is it “New Year’s”?
Use the apostrophe-S in “New Year’s” when you’re talking about December 31 or January 1 resolutions you’re making, or other things that “belong” to the New Year.
Let’s get grammatical. Apostrophes are the way the English language shows possession or that something belongs to another thing. Here are the three most common uses of New Year:
New Year’s Eve: the eve of the New Year
New Year’s Day: the first day of the New Year
New Year’s resolution: something you say you’re going to do for the New Year
In all three cases, there’s a relationship of belonging between the New Year and the noun: the eve, the day, and the resolution are all specifically related to the New Year (it’s not just any resolution), so “New Year’s” becomes the modifier for each noun.