Best Bet: Wire Sparklers

Photo: Victor Prado/New York Magazine

Though lighting one up is technically illegal in New York State, few traditions ring in the New Year like the snap-crackle spectacle of wire sparklers. But unlike the ashy boxed variety smuggled in from over-the-border gas stations, these blazing sticks ($13.50 for eight at Catbird, 219 Bedford Ave., nr. N. 5th St., Williamsburg; 718-599-3457) come hand-twisted in pretty, party-favor-ready metallic tissue paper. Their golden sparks burn clean, ensuring your hands — and evening clothes — stay soot-free. Plus, they’re food-safe: The squatter, star-shaped versions ($13.50 for four) make festive toppers for whatever midnight sweets you may have in store. Plus: stackable crayons, glow-in-the-dark gifts, and more from this week's issue. [NYM]