Some say that Christmas is for the kids and New Year’s is for the adults. Have your New Year’s Eve party at home and avoid the bar covers, long bathroom lines, and overall stress for the big night. While the idea of standing under the Times Square lights bundled up shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers or waiting hours to get into your favorite white tablecloth restaurant for a prix fixe meal started out as a great idea, there are tons of reasons to host your own get-together. Here are five great tips to help you ring in the new year.
Stick with a Theme
Parties are always more fun when people dress up. It’s a way to get everyone involved and a good conversation starter. Get creative with it! You can go the fancy route or a more casual approach, but whichever you choose, when each guest is dressed for the occasion, it gives the party an inclusive, exciting atmosphere.
Keep the Drinks Simple
Unless you’re going to enlist your 21-year-old nephew to man the bar this year, prepare a large pitcher of rum punch or sangria so you don’t have to make individual drinks for everyone. Although so-and-so’s fiancé loves margaritas, and your cousin, Ted, prefers whiskey sours, as the host, you have the right to think of what’s best for the greater good instead of catering to each person’s alcoholic whims. Whip up a potent batch of your favorite communal cocktail ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Have a few cases of beer, hard seltzers and pre-mixed drinks from the liquor store on hand so people can have a variety that’s grab-and-go!
Provide Plenty of Activities
Rather than everyone waiting for something to happen, you’ll have plenty of fun in store to keep the party going all night long…or at least until midnight! Again, this could tie into your theme, but party activities can be kept evergreen. People love to reconnect with their inner child—especially after they’ve had a few— so consider having out a few nostalgic games like giant Jenga or Twister. (Save the more intellectual games like Scrabble or Pictionary for a more sober gathering.) You’ll want to keep things light. Consider having everyone get in the New Year spirit by jotting down either a resolution for 2022 or one positive thing that happened in 2021. This is a good segue after the appetizers and games before everyone sits down for dinner.
Easy Homemade Apps
Go simple on the appetizers, especially if you’re expecting to have over 15 people in attendance. Think: pigs in a blanket, meatball sliders, nachos, buffalo chicken dip, chicken wings. These are crowd-pleaser plates that everyone’s hand will be grabbing for. If you’re going to have a few things catered, get a charcuterie board or shrimp cocktail to add an air of elegance and presentation. Skip the “innovative” recipes for a smaller cohort—because there’s always a possibility that it will go untouched and then the main dishes (like your prized fried turnkey) will be gobbled up in seconds.
Buy More Champagne than you Think you’ll Need
Did you know that the tradition of drinking champagne dates back to Julius Cesar’s time? We bet even the ancient Romans didn’t have enough bubbly to satisfy everyone. To avoid abandoning your guests to make a last-minute liquor store run, buy extra bottles of the sparkling beverage the first time you go. Better to have more than not enough; trust us, it won’t go to waste.