Whether you want to have a small, intimate party or a rager, planning your New Year’s party doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. New Year’s is one of the biggest party nights of the year and if you’ve taken it upon yourself to throw one, you may already be experiencing stress about the task. Instead of worrying yourself into a frenzy, use some of our helpful suggestions to truncate the party planning process and really start your year off on a great foot. All you need is a few simple tips and tricks and your party will be ready to rock, well before New Year’s Eve.
Turn Resolution Making into a Game
Making resolutions is widely considered to be one of the most futile pursuits in the New Year. Most people recycle their resolutions from previous years, usually indicating that they did not achieve what they wanted to achieve this year and need to try again—in effect, that their resolutions had no effect. There are plenty of articles about how to make resolutions stick over the coming year, but it might just be more effective to turn your resolution making into a game for your party.
Here’s how you do it. Set out a bunch of notecards with questions on them that relate to goal making. Here are some examples: “The bad habit I want to change is (blank),” “I want to do more of (blank) this year,” “I want to improve my (blank) skill this year,” “I want to learn how to (blank),” this year. Alternatively, you could hand out the cards blank and start the game by asking each person to write a question, and then pass the cards around and have each person answer someone else’s question.
Whichever method you choose, don’t have anyone put any names on any of the cards, put them in a hat or bowl and then pick them out one by one, having everyone guess who wrote what.
What to Eat
While typical party food might seem like the best fare—this is a party, after all—there are lots of kinds of foods that are specific to New Year’s that you might consider laying out. For example, in many Latin countries, grapes are a traditional New Year’s food. Eating twelve grapes at midnight is considered good luck for the coming twelve months of the new year.
In the South, black-eyed peas and ham hocks are traditional fare, while noodles are considered lucky in many Asian countries. They are a symbol of long life—so don’t break them in half before cooking and encourage your guests to slurp, instead of biting them in half. Pork (pigs) are considered lucky in just about every country they inhabit, from America to Japan, so some pork-centered dishes might be a good choice for New Year’s meals.
Dessert is as easy as making a ring cake. The ring symbolizes the close of the year and the opening a new one—how life always comes full circle. All you have to do is pick up a ring pan and use your favorite cake mix and you’re done.
What to Listen To
Unless you did decide to throw that rager, you’ll probably want some quieter, more demure music for the backdrop of your New Year’s party. The classics are always a good idea. You can probably even queue up a Pandora station that has plenty of easy-listening music, just for the occasion. Just makes sure that you have Auld Lang Syne on your playlist so that you can sing it after midnight.
How to Decorate
Start by picking up your basic New Year’s party decorations at our party store. Depending on the atmosphere of your party, you might want to go very kitsch and get lots of 2015 gear, or just a few simple tablecloths and wall decorations to get you started. The key to decorating for a New Year’s party is to remember that there is no such thing as too much gold glitter or the color black.
Gold glitter and black are the most common and well-loved colors for this celebration, so you should be able to find them in our party supply store and really round out your store-bought decorations with a few homemade ones. Stars cut from gold paper, pom-poms made from gold metallic yarn, or custom-made party hats (your guests can even make these as they come in the door), are all great places to start.
If you’re not keen on making your own decorations—not all of us have the Martha Stewart touch—you’re sure to find plenty of great decorations in our collection. Remember to keep the spirit of your party in mind. A smaller, intimate party may not warrant as many crazy decorations as a huge, New Year’s dance party should have. Go all out or keep it simple!
Make It Potluck
The best way to de-stress your New Year’s party is to delegate tasks out to those attending. You’re already hosting the party, why should you have to plan the entire thing by yourself? Enlist your most creative friend to help with the decorations and make sure the best chef of the group is in charge of at least a few of the dishes. You can even have a couple people show up an hour early to help you make sure the place is properly decorated and all of the food is out and ready for guests to arrive.
Don’t go it alone! New Year’s should be a time to remember the good times you’ve had with friends over the year and the good times you’ll have in the coming year—at least, that’s what Auld Lang Syne says.