Don't let the hectic Christmas holiday leave you so tired that New Years takes a back seat. This is an exciting and much anticipated time, as we leave behind last year's trials, and tribulations and celebrate the potential of great things to come in the upcoming New Year.
For those of us who like to celebrate with close family and friends as opposed to hitting the town, but want to do more than cuddle up on the couch, I recommend hosting your own party.
With these helpful tips and tricks, there is still plenty of time to plan the perfect party to bring in the New Year and leave your friends and family with memories they won't soon forget. Don't worry, I've included a checklist as well to help things run that much smoother.
Items to budget:
- Food (Finger Foods/Buffet/Caterer)
- Serving Necessities (Tables/Linens/Plates/Glasses/Chairs)
- Party Favors
- Music (Playlists/DJ/Band)
2. Guest Count
Some examples out there include:
- Black and White: All decorations are black and white and guests are encouraged to dress in black and white as well.
- Indulgence: This is a great way to have guest assist with the food and beverage portion of your budget. Have a table set aside for those late night indulgences of sweets and treats to enjoy together before they go away with those New Years Resolutions.
- Glow in the Dark: Buy black lights, glow sticks, bracelets, necklaces, or even eyeglasses. Try making ice cubes or jello molds with tonic water for a glowing food and drink display as well as boozy milkshakes.
- Game Night: Encourage laughs and friendly competition by asking your guests to bring their favorite board games. If there are several people coming you can have games set up in different rooms. Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Trivial Pursuit, and Cards against Humanity are just a few suggestions. Or you can go the other way and have a poker theme with blackjack, craps, and poker table.
- Tables of Time: There are plenty of ways to introduce clocks around the house, from your décor to clock decorated cookies. Have guest come dressed in clothing from their favorite era, or if you have one you prefer add details from that time period into your décor as well. Another great idea is to create a time capsule to open at next years party.
- Masquerade: Instruct guest to come dressed in disguise complete with a mask. You'll be surprised with what walks in the door.
- Bonfire: Great if you're in view of a fireworks display. You can roast marshmallows and have everyone write down what they would like to leave behind from the year and ceremoniously burn them in the fire.
- Celebrity Scandal: Tell guest to dress as their favorite celebrity scandal from the previous year. You can decorate like it's a red carpet event and create a blooper reel of news reels reflecting the top scandals of the year.
- Good Fortune: Bring in good fortune in multiple ways by featuring good luck foods and stuffing your own fortune cookies with messages only your group would understand, or my personal favorite a gypsy themed party. Complete the setting with crystal balls, jewel toned fabrics draped everywhere and carnival themed foods. Top it off with a medium who's willing to make house calls for a few hours and encourage your guests to arrive dressed in gypsy gear.
4. Eats, Treats & Drinks
Champagne is a must for New Years, but having a selection of beers, wine, liquor and sparkling cider for the DD's is not a bad idea either. There is nothing wrong though with providing the champagne and asking guest to bring their preferred beverages, just make sure you have an area to store items so they stay cold when guest need a refill. And don't forget any mixers and garnishes you may need if providing the bar yourself.
5. Music & Entertainment
Themed activities will keep your guest entertained while they are waiting for the final count down, and it will also complete your concept.
Some examples include:
- Past year Charades: Use song and movie titles, events, etc. from the previous year to act out.
- Resolution Guessing Game: have guest write down their resolutions and place in a hat. Divide into teams and have each member guess who belongs with each resolution. Whichever team guessed the most correctly will win a prize.
- Create a Time Capsule: have guest write their wishes for the upcoming year down and place in a capsule to open at next years party.
- Time's Up Board Game
- Beer Olympics: Set up drinking games around the house such as beer pong, flip cup, and categories.
This time of year is an acceptable time for the noise makers, and confetti pops. Hats, tiaras, and oversized glasses are always acceptable for New Years.
You'll want to assure your home is clean and ready to receive guests, not to mention its been rumored that this will bring you good tidings in the new year. Don't neglect the bathroom either. Be sure to have plenty of toilet paper on hand, and empty trash can and hand towels as well as some air freshener. Not a bad idea to have a large trash can and extra trash bags on hand.
Some examples include:
- Portugal: people pick and eat twelve grapes as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s, to ensure twelve happy months
- Germany: people drop molten lead into cold water to tell the future from the shape it makes
- England: girls would drop egg whites into water. They thought it would form the first letter of the name of the man they would marry
- Latin America: believe is putting lentils in pockets or any other place you'd like to see money will bring you wealth. In Chile, though, eating a spoonful of lentils at midnight ensures a year filled with work and money. If you hope to travel in 2015, make sure you walk around a room or maybe walk around the block
- Ireland: wait until your bread from Christmas gets hard and stale, and then bang it on the walls on New Year’s Day to get rid of bad spirits.
Have a Happy New Year!!