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Some people believe that the way you usher in a new year sets the pace for the rest of it. While I am not the superstitious kind, I love a good party and will make any excuse to host one. Your New Year’s Eve party doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg. They just need a little creativity and a great playlist because music makes everything better and can really set the mood for any event.
So, how do we make this year’s party memorable? Hint: plenty of food, drinks, and silly games will get things started! But before that, let us set the mood for the party.
Festive Décor to Usher in the New Year
Why not start right from the yard by illuminating your house numbers? When guests drive in, these lights will lead them to the party so they know they’re in the right place.
Decorating my New Years Eve party with balloons is my favorite thing to do. You may not want to go too crazy but some gold and silver balloons hovering over your guests can be a nice way to decorate without spending too much money. Gold and silver are my first choice of color, but the theme will also play a role here. If balloons aren’t your thing, paper ornaments are a great substitute.
Lighting is another fantastic way to really set the mood. You want it to be intimate and cozy and especially the closer you get to midnight. Dimmers are a great idea as they set the mood right, but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them. Color changing LED bulbs can be a great way to add some accent lighting and some Smart LED bulbs can even change colors to music.
Tall unscented candles placed at the food station and the bar can provide just the right amount of light while tea lights will make the space glow.
Yummy Treats for the Tummy
I always prefer having parties start a little late so that people can make individual plans for dinner. Still, I will make it clear in the invites that we’re getting together for appetizers and drinks. At the party, I’ll usually serve sliders, sandwiches, and other small bites as snacks. You do not need an elaborate menu for this as, depending on the number of invitees, it could be costly.
Mini-salami puff sandwiches, garlicky shrimp dip to go with crackers, deviled eggs with avocado and bacon bits at the top, meatballs, cheesy, bacon-loaded pastries, and good ol’ tortilla chips as well as crispy carrots. This year I intend to throw in some pizza too. These items are easy to make and they won’t set you back too much either.
New Year’s Eve Party Drinks
As you count down, make a toast to the new year a bit dramatic with champagne served in marked glasses. Each flute is labeled between numbers one and 10 and as you count down, each person holds up their glass as their number is called out. Fun and engaging.
For drinks, I never go wrong with seasonal twists of sangria. I will usually batch the cocktails the day before the event to ensure that I have everything I need, while ensuring to stock the bar with various options. Spirits, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks are the usual suspects in the bar, while the champagne is saved for the toast to the new year.
New Year’s Eve Party Music!
Music is the life of the party and so I’m very particular about what I play. Sometimes I’ll let the average age of my attendees decide what I play, but I discovered mixing genres and years works well.
Basically, I start with background music to set the pace and encourage conversation, and build it up as time passes and the liquor flows. You don’t have to hire a DJ for the party while you can select a playlist on Spotify to entertain your guests. As the evening grows, you may want to turn up the volume and play some music you all can dance to.
Games and Party Favors
It isn’t a party without games, right? I like Resolutions (a New Year’s Eve party is basically the only time to oplay this game), a game so easy and fun to play. So, type and print common resolutions and then have each guest pick one as they come in. they can check what’s written but they cannot share it with anyone else.
Later, they will go round asking other guests questions that will help them know whether they have the other piece of their resolution. For instance, “I will go back to school” could be split into “I will go” and “back to school.” The one with the first part has to find the other missing half. When players find each other, they stick the pieces on their foreheads and take a photo. The first one gets a gift. Quite easy!
For party favors, I try not to overthink and so mostly do goodie jars with nuts, cookies, and granola bars. I also hand-write thank you notes to accompany the jars.