How to Throw a Great New Year’s Eve Party
This year, we are throwing our 11th New Year’s Eve party! I can’t believe we’ve kept it going for this long! Even the year that our son was only 11 days old, and the year that I was 8 months pregnant, we still couldn’t resist having a few friends over to ring in the new year with us!
Although it’s been going on for 11 years, this party is definitely not what it used to be. We’re not in our 20’s anymore. At this point in my life I’d (probably) stop one of our friends from streaking down our street at midnight (that happened), and may suggest that we not set up a beer pong table in a room with carpet. We have also down-sized our guest list by about 75%, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still like to have a good time. I believe that people can celebrate their NYE anywhere, so if they are choosing to celebrate it with you, make it worth it. This isn’t just any other party of the year, it’s New Year’s Eve! It’s a night where you can get a little fancier, put on a little sparkle, and drink out of a glass with a stem! For some it’s signifies a fresh start after a really rough year, for others it’s a night to finally relax a bit after a hectic holiday season. Regardless, it’s a night to celebrate surviving another year, and looking forward to what’s ahead.
Whether you are celebrating with your significant other, your kids, or 50 of your nearest and dearest, and whether you are getting wild and crazy or keeping it low-key, there are a few must haves for every New Year’s Eve party:
Make it Festive!
You can not have a New Year’s Eve Party without some fun gear. I always make sure to set out an array of hats, tiaras, beads, and leis. Even if you are not the “dressing up” type, it’s still fun to get decked out with a few festive touches. At our party, not everybody likes to wear them the whole night, but as we get closer to midnight and all start to gather around the TV for the ball drop, they definitely get passed around and people have fun with it, and it definitely makes for the best pictures!
Make it a Potluck!
Of course you can’t have a good party without food. As we’ve gotten older, the focus of our party has definitely shifted from ‘what are we drinking?’, to ‘what are we eating?’ When you are the host, you already have a lot on your “plate,” there’s no need to take on all of the food prep too, so we do our party potluck style! We usually provide an easy main course or two in some crockpots, like meatball sandwiches or hotdogs and sauerkraut (which stinks up the house, but my husband claims is “traditional”). And then I do a heavy appetizer, like a crab dip, a spinach dip, or this year I am doing a baked brie (See recipe below). I also put out the rest of our Christmas cookies and any treats that we have collected over the holiday, to help clean out my house before January starts ;). I make sure to have something from each of the main categories, main dish, appetizer, and dessert, so that I know we are covered, and then many of our guests bring along whatever their favorite is. We always end up with a huge spread and way too much food, but it does usually ensure that everyone is still standing when midnight rolls around.
Make a Fun Cocktail!
Now, just because I said that our focus has shifted to food over the past few years, that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to partake in a cocktail or four on New Year’s Eve. In the past we have done jello shots, champagne/sherbet punch, and some years have warranted the need for a keg, but this year I am going to try out a signature cocktail! I made one for a bachelorette party over the summer, and it was definitely fun to have something already mixed up and ready to go. You can serve this cocktail in a drink dispenser, in a pitcher, or just set out the ingredients with a little recipe card and let each guest mix up their own. You can even turn it up a notch by setting out some martini glasses and garnishes. Now I just need to find a good recipe!
Make a Toast!
A champagne toast is essential! We literally spend the whole evening counting down to midnight, it is the pinnacle, and as the host, you need to be ready for it. Years ago, I stocked up on real champagne glasses. They don’t have to be fancy to make you feel fancy. Mine are combo of the dollar store and Ikea, but they are glass and I make sure to have enough for everybody. Before the party I get them all set up on a tray ready to be filled. I have my champagne chilling in the fridge and about 15 minutes before midnight, I pop the corks. DON’T wait till the last minute or you will still be handing out glasses as the ball is dropping and before you know it, you will have missed everything. I’ve been there. Some years I keep it super simple, other years I spice it up a bit with a sugar rimmed glass or by tossing a strawberry in the bottom before filling them up.
Last but not least…
Make it Kid Friendly!
Now this option is not for everybody. If it’s not in the best interest of the kids or their safety, then by all means hire a sitter! Since we now have kids, and more of our friends have had kids, we have allowed our party to downsize and made the switch to kid friendly. Yes, it requires a little more responsibility, but the kids have a blast! If you are going to have kids at your party, make sure they are included. Let them get decked out in the hats and beads, maybe some glow necklaces, have a few kid friendly foods, and don’t forget the sparkling cider! My son still takes a really good afternoon nap, so for NYE, I let him go till he can’t go any more! The last two years, he has watched the ball drop! It can really be so much fun to include the little ones, and it doesn’t hurt to have a dvd ready to go in a quiet bedroom when they have had their fill.
Well, those are just a few of my tips on how to throw an amazing New Year’s Eve party. After 11 years, I kind of feel like a pro. I hope everyone has a happy and safe NYE. Eat, drink, be merry, and throw on a tiara!
See Ya Next Year!!!
(Except for those coming to my party, I’ll see YOU tomorrow!)
I found this recipe here, and it was so easy! You lay out a sheet of crescent roll dough, smear on your favorite fruit preserve (I used raspberry), place your brie (casing and all) in the middle, wrap the dough around it and kind of crimp the edges together to seal them, and then bake the whole thing according to the crescent roll directions! That was it! I made one of these last summer and it was so good that I am making another one for NYE. When you put a knife in it, the cheese starts to ooze right out, SO GOOD. I am going to serve it with pita chips and sliced apples. YUM.
Now to find a good signature cocktail recipe!