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How to: Plan a New Year’s Eve Party

How to: Plan a New Year’s Eve Party
I’ll let you into a secret.... I’m rubbish at planning New Year’s Eve. By the time I’ve got round to thinking about inviting people (usually on the 30th December), everyone has made plans. So every year I end up watching Jools’ Hootenany with my husband with both of us saying “never again.” The problem is, of course, that you are so busy planning Halloween, bonfire night and Christmas that the New Year’s Eve celebration gets forgotten. So, this year I have made a mid-year resolution to organise a New Year’s Eve Party and I reckon the thing to do is send out invitations now, or at least by mid-October. That way, you have committed to having a party, you have let guests know in plenty of time and your friends will probably thank you as they won’t have to organise something themselves. Your invitation will need to include the venue and any theme, plus an RSVP date. Make the RSVP early December to give you time to chase up people before the massive Christmas rush. So the party goes with a swing you could ask guests for their favourite party songs and party games. Venue Obviously you don’t have to worry about the date, but there are a number of things to consider when choosing the venue. Having a big private party at the local sports club or hall can be expensive as most suppliers (DJs, bands, caterers, photographers etc) charge a premium for the night. You could go as a group to a club, pub or hotel that put on New Year parties – if you are doing that the cost of the night should be included on your invitation. Most people however opt for having a New Year’s Eve Party at home. There are a number of advantages to this: cost, convenience and being able to involve your children are just a few. Theme You are organising a party at a very stressful time of the year and you will probably have less than a week after Christmas to organise most of the food and decoration. Even if you are off work that week, chances are someone in the family will be ill, so make your theme simple. If you are cheeky you could do a “Diet Starts Tomorrow” party and suggest your guests bring their excess food from Christmas as a contribution to the refreshments. Most people massively over-buy for Christmas and are desperate to use up nuts, dates, biscuits, cake, cheese, nibbles and alcohol ahead of their January diets and would otherwise throw it away. But, keep any theme simple, for instance black and white, pirates, gangsters and molls - make and fancy dress easy and inexpensive for your guests to join in. Refreshments Whether you provide it or your guests contribute, you will need to ensure nibbles throughout the evening. Then, if you are planning to party into the wee small hours, hot food just after midnight is a hit. Keep it simple: baked potatoes, a chilli or a curry always go down well. Drinks are a must and most guests will bring a bottle. Make sure you provide bubbly for midnight and plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for all tastes. Cocktails are always popular and we always have a whisky to see the New Year in. Children If you have children a party at home means that they can join in. Invite some of their friends and the friends’ parents and give the visiting children a place to crash out if they’re tired. Make sure one adult is designated to keep an eye on the children’s alcohol consumption – it is a good idea to provide them with their own “bar” area where they can make their own non-alcoholic cocktails. Decoration Not much is required as all the Christmas decs are still up. You can perhaps add some balloons and banners and add some more fairy lights to give the decorations a lift. Entertainment Personally I love a firework display and would let fireworks off at midnight – alternatively just go out of the house and see the massive display that everyone else puts on! There is room for some party games at a New Year’s Eve party and karaoke is always popular. (Tip: persuade the worst singer at the party to sing first, then everyone will happily join in!) You will want to dance too – if you asked about favourite party songs on the invitation, these should be included on the playlist. Next Day It may be prudent to provide accommodation of some sort so that people don’t need to drive home. Get plenty of food in for breakfast, just in case. A warning – if you stay the night at mine you will get dragged off to run 5 kilometres the next morning. Many places have a local run on 1st January, check out your local parkrun if you want to start the New Year as you mean to go on!