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Planning A Perfect New Year’s Party

Posted Friday, December 30th, 2016

Ending the Holiday Season in Style

The problem with New Year’s Eve is that it’s only six days after Christmas, making it the last mile of our holiday marathon. We’ve barely finished getting crumpled wrapping paper out from under the couch, and yet somehow it’s time to pull ourselves and our homes together for the most glamorous gala of the year. (Or at least a party with appetizers you made yourself.) With our short party planning guide, we promise it will be easier to do than it sounded on the 26th!

Cook in moderation.

Christmas cooking takes it out of us. It seems like we spend hours in the kitchen getting a special dinner ready, and then hours more cleaning up. By the time New Year’s rolls around, you should take advantage of some quick cheats in the kitchen. Stock the table with semi-homemade snacks. Drizzle expensive chocolate over store-bought shortbread for a sweet snack. Or make a quick flatbread by topping prebaked naan with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. This is also a great time to cater a few of your favorite dishes to save time, mixing them with your own cooking.

Save money on decorations.

You’ve bought every last person on your Christmas lift a thoughtful gift, trimmed the tree, and lugged home an organic Turkey with all the fixings. New Year’s Eve needn’t be expensive. Repurpose other holiday decorations to make a big impact. Large vases filled with gold and silver Christmas ornaments make dramatic centerpieces, and paper snowflakes hung from the ceiling with Christmas ribbon complete the look. A few empty boxes wrapped in white or gold paper on a buffet provide a festive touch and use up some of that leftover wrapping paper, too.

Send out invitations well in advance.

In America, we celebrate many different holidays—but we are united in being overcommitted. If you want to see your friends and loved ones at your party, be sure to send out invitations well in advance. Since New Year’s isn’t always a formal affair, this is a great time to take advantage of new technology, like evites, which will make the invitation process painless for you. After all, getting those “Season’s Greetings” cards out on time is hard enough.

Ask guests to bring something to drink.

A big ticket item at adult parties is the amount of alcohol you have to purchase. This year, to make your party plan easier and less expensive, ask your friends to bring a either a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer to share. Then make a signature punch for the party, or, if the setting is more intimate, think about whipping up a quick and easy cocktail. A pitcher of cranberry or pomegranate margaritas will look festive and can be pre-mixed for easy serving. Pour it into pretty holiday glasses and your job is done.

Don’t overthink the party games.

Let your guests write down New Years resolutions in a book as they come through the door. As the night goes on, people can try to guess who made which resolutions. Whoever has correctly matched the most resolutions at the end of the night wins a prize. Another fun source of low-key entertainment is photo station. Stock a box with fun hats and accessories and put it in front of a blank wall with good lighting. Your friends can use cellphone cameras to snap memorable shots.

Invest in some professional help.

You are already exhausted from hosting Christmas, so New Year’s Eve is a great time to let someone else do some of the work. From catering and wait-staff to cleaning, think about what you can afford to outsource. Restaurants will sometimes provide service staff with a catering package, so you don’t have to spend any time in the kitchen at all.

The days between Christmas and New Year’s are also an ideal time to employ housecleaning services. Your carpet in particular takes a beating over the winter holidays, so think about scheduling your regular cleaning with Modernistic before opening up your house for New Year’s. Mud, salt, spilled food, and wine will disappear by the time guests arrive.

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