This article first appeared in the latest issue of Kreative Living Quarterly™ – you can find lots of wonderful winter inspiration! Visit Kreative Creationz to download the recent issue here!
Another year is almost over! It doesn’t seem possible that 2013 will be in the history books in just a few short weeks and we’ll be welcoming 2014. There is something special about New Year’s Eve – a reflection of years gone by and fresh anticipation of the year ahead. It’s the perfect time to gather with family and friends, put on a little razzle dazzle and ring in the New Year together – at home! Whether you have casual party, a sit-down dinner, a fun sleepover with the kids or a quiet evening for two, entertaining at home for New Year’s is so much fun!
My hubby and I have always celebrated New Year’s Eve either at home or at the home of family. 2014 will be our thirty-second time ringing in a New Year together. Wait, is that right? It is! Through holidays with babies, casual evenings, and dinner parties for 16 or more, we’ve had our share of missteps, mayhem and just plain fun along the way – plus created some tips and ideas to share with you!
Have little ones? Team up with friends or family that have children the same age. Get the children tucked in and then have fun making a grown-up meal together. Keep it easy with simple sides and dessert. Boil some lobsters or steam some shrimp, sit down and enjoy!
Don’t usually do dinner parties? New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to start! Most of us don’t have a dining room table large enough to seat more than 10, right? Add a long, folding table to the end of your dining table or place one or more off in a T-shape. Add folding chairs. Use matching tablecloths and the tables will flow!
Have music playing low throughout dinner and turn up the volume later! Want to have the perfect party music? When you invite your guests, ask each one to send you a list of their five favorite songs. Put together a playlist of all the music or enlist a friend to help. You’ll be sure to have music everyone will love!
Pick a color scheme for your table and repurpose holiday ornaments or take advantage of after-Christmas sales for ribbon. Ribbon can go a long way to make everything New Year’s festive! Elevate plain white tablecloths by running ribbon down the center for color and sparkle. Tie ribbon around the backs of chair into big bows – even folding chairs will seem special. Use ribbon as napkins rings!
New Year’s Eve is the time to pull out the china, crystal and silver! Don’t have enough for all the guests you want to invite? Borrow from friends – mix and match. White dishes go with everything! Alternate place settings for a table that’s interesting and eclectic.
Have a little something fun for your guests! This is a photo from a few years ago – see the little colored things on the plates? I found these on QVC! They were actually blinking light buttons that attached to clothes with magnets. Everyone wore them all night and loved them!
Have a Make Your Own New Year’s hat making session! Buy inexpensive party hats and put out glitter, sequins, letters and any fun craft supplies you have on hand. Grab the camera for a fun photo op! Give a small prize for the most creative, funniest or silliest hat.
Whether your celebration is small, large or somewhere in the middle, a small favor is always a great way to let your guests know how special they are! Some easy ideas:
The music playlist you put together for the party or dinner? Burn a CD for each guest or couple with a label that commemorates the evening!
Food favors are always appreciated! All those great packaged foods for Christmas are now 50-70% off and make perfect favors! Jars of fancy nuts, little boxes of candy, hot chocolate and marshmallows to the cold start of the New Year – all make great party favors!
If you have time and feel creative, make everyone a “Dreams and Aspirations” jar to fill with slips of paper where they write their hopes and dreams for 2014.
Forgo the ribbon napkin rings and make these to double as napkin rings and favors. Take heavy gauge floral wire, bend into a heart shape and thread with inexpensive “pearls” from the craft store. Tie on a shimmery white ribbon and share a little affection and love with friends and family to kick off the New Year.
Bake or buy a fabulous cake! Plan to serve coffee and dessert after the midnight toast! Have small take-out containers for guests that would like to take their dessert home or pack up a little box of leftovers for a New Year’s Day treat.
Enjoy the season, cherish moments with family and friends, wish a fond farewell to 2013 and start the New Year in the best place on earth – right at home, with those you love!
Of course, I have to leave you with a little vintage New Year’s greeting and you can find some more fun, vintage New Year’s cards here. I hope you are enjoying the holidays and however you welcome 2014, be safe, be happy and be joyful!