Does ringing in the new year with some close friends sound infinitely more appealing than navigating a chock-full club district in sub zero temps? Then don your heels and a party-worthy outfit and get ready to stay in! Plan a low-key party for your worthiest company and spend the night exactly how you want. Here’s how to plan an easy and awesome NYE party at home, keeping work to a minimum and fun to a maximum.
Pick a theme
Whether you choose a traditional cocktail party theme, a sit-down dinner, a potluck, movie night, an outdoor activity (skating, tobogganing, a winters’ night hike), add some simple glitz to your pad to make it a stylish home base to ring in midnight. Some simple ways to improve ambiance for a stylish NYE party: spread around some votives, replace lightbulbs with pink bulbs, and splurge on some sparklers, party hats, tiaras and noise blowers for your guests and display them in a big bowl.
Plan some games
DIY fortune telling on auspicious NYE can be hilariously fun. Here's how: let some melting candle wax drop into a bowl of water while a friend thinks of a question. Then, interpret the shapes of the drippings as the answer. The same can go for tea leaves at the bottom of your cup. Use a different game to make light of resolutions: write some possibilities out on individual cards ("The person I want to be more like this year is ____," "The habit I want to break this year is ____," "The good deed I want to do this year is ____.") And read them aloud to determine each resolution. Get creative! Get everyone to draw one from a hat.
Make a play list
Cue up that steady rotation of party jams tailored to the occasion. New Years Eve by Snoop Dogg, Celtic New Year by Van Morrison, My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year) by Regina Spektor, or conjure up a playlist of your friends' favourite songs of the year past. The more glittery props you have around, the more likely your party will transpire into a dance party.
Get creative with cocktails
Welcome your guests with a signature cocktail at the start of the night. Make it a mocktail for the non-drinkers – sipping something sweet and bubbly is mandatory for all on NYE, even if it's gingerale in a pretty glass with floating cranberries. When midnight rolls around, pop a bottle of bub and toast to your friends, the year past and your year ahead. As the host, be prepared with a toast that is as simple as it is wise:
Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. ~ Oprah Winfrey
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. ~ Dr. Suess
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Fun finger foods
Serve some fun holiday cocktail party appetizers throughout the night. Canapes and crudites pair well with glasses of champagne of course, but stressing about food is a surefire way to make your party less fun for all. Don't spend any time in the kitchen during the party if you can. Prepare the food ahead of time, and make sure there are always some snackables within reach. Make sure you serve some hearty bites if you're serving alcohol, and have some sweets on hand for midnight munchies.
Use your NYE girls night to plan your year ahead and reflect on the one passed. Even if it results in a tipsy heart to heart, your quiet riot will send you and your gals into 2014 with warm hearts – and no regrets from the night before!