Tomorrow is New Years Eve and once again, no one's planned a party and your friends are looking to you to host! There's no time to hire a planner and bring out all of the stops, you don't have this in your budget, it's the end of the holidays, and you barely have time to clean... Can you do it? I say yes. Here are a few, quick and easy tips!
1. Guest List
New Years Eve plans typically fall into two categories: 1) planned months ahead or 2) last minute.
Even if you've only discussed a last minute party with a few friends, go ahead and send an Evite, Paperless Post, email, or even a text to other friends that you may want to join in. Be sure to ask for a fast response so you have time to grab enough supplies!
2. Go to Party City
This is one of the few times that I will encourage you to go to Party City. Really! They have a few things you will need:
One of the best and cheesiest traditions of NYE are the party hats. Plus, they make for great photo ops.
Instead of throwing a bunch of streamers around, the number balloons make the perfect statement.
3. Get Some Bubbly!
My favorite, inexpensive bubbly is Segura Viudas Brut -- it's technically a sparkling wine, but it's delicious and perfect for a group of people.
If buying enough champagne for everyone is starting to sound pricey, consider asking your guests to bring their favorite bottle and set up a sparkling cocktail bar. Make sure to have ice buckets for the champagne. (Not big champs drinkers? Do the same with mixed drinks, or an easy non-alcoholic approach is a fun punch with a few soda options).
The Nest has a selection of champagne cocktail recipes, which you could also write out on signs at the bar to help your guests. Here's one that I've tried before:
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce triple sec
- Champagne or sparkling wine
4. Hearty Apps = Happy Guests
If you are serving alcohol, heavy appetizers are a must, and if you're not - food is another tool in keeping guests entertained as you await the new year. There's no need to go overboard or plan a dinner. If you're starting later, then it's likely most of your guests will have eaten already.
In the South, you can never go wrong with Sister Schubert's rolls and ham, but if you want to dress it up a bit, Southern Living has great recipes for "make-ahead appetizers." Add to the savory with sweets such as cookies, lemon bars, mini cupcakes, or bite size brownies. You can never go wrong with bowls of Christmas candy, it's all marked down in stores!
5. Create a Playlist
Want to dance the night away? Prepare a playlist beforehand. Even if you don't want to dance, background music keeps your party lively and fills any potential moments of awkward silence.
Out of time? This YouTube mix has nearly 3 hours of dance music all ready for you! Just think about playing it off a TV or computer (with good speakers), in case you want to use your phone to grab photos and text other friends "Happy New Year!"
6. Set the Mood
If you are wanting a dance party, move your furniture to create a dance floor. Thinking more of a game night? Set out various games at either card tables or group chairs for games like Catchphrase that don't need a surface. If it's a night of conversation, make sure that there are enough seating options and in various groupings.
Now relax! Don't be caught off-guard if your dance party turns into a game night or everyone reminiscing about the past year. Whether your party is planned far in advance or last minute, New Years Eve is all about welcoming a new year surrounded by good friends. If everyone is having fun, it's a success!
Have a great New Years Eve!!