Whether you’re the “hostess with the mostest” or throwing together a last-minute New Year’s Eve party that you want to be absolutely epic, we’ve got you covered with simple ideas from food, decorations, and games that even your most Scrooge-like guest won’t be able to refuse.
Don’t worry about slaving all day in the kitchen for a full five-course meal. Start your party after dinner time; guests will arrive full but ready to nibble on some easy to prepare appetizers and desserts. Vegetable trays, sliced fruit, and cheese platters are quick and satisfying. And nobody can resist the adorableness of a normal food shrunken down to “mini” size. Mini waffles and chicken bites, anyone?
Perhaps the most fun part of hosting a party is creating your own signature drink for the event. Alcohol isn’t even required. Straight from Martha Stewart herself, this drink is almost too beautiful to sip on. Get creative with the name—and the garnishes—for a drink that will leave your guests grinning as they wet their whistles.
Have some fun with normal tradition of New Year’s Resolutions with these downloadable New Year Playing Cards from Real Simple. Guests fill in the blanks to questions like “The person I want to be more like this year _____.” or “The bad habit I want to kick this year is _____.” For added fun shuffle the cards and read them aloud, then try to guess to whom each resolution belongs!
Forget those cheesy plastic party decorations that leave your house coated in glitter for weeks (except the “2016” eyeglasses, never forget those). Instead, class up your party with decorations that are both stylish and a breeze to clean up after. Rummage through your closets or thrift store for as many vintage, unique, chic, and quirky clocks you can find. This simple set-up is a great focal point to really get your friends in the New Year’s mood.
What’s more important on New Year’s Eve than the countdown and ball drop? So you might as well do it in style! But save yourself the hassle of confetti cleanup and instead cut squares of colorful tissue paper. Throw them in the air in lieu of confetti, and we promise they won’t be hiding in the depths of your carpet until your next New Year’s Party. Some celebratory music will set the mood, maybe even encourage some dancing. (You know some of your friends have some mad dance skills!) Try singing Auld Lang Syne and see who comes up with the correct (or funniest) lyrics.
But after midnight, don’t let the party stop there. You know that old tune back from 2003, “After the show is the after party,” and a giant mug of warm coffee is the only way to have a great after party. Turn on the fireplace, gather around and let the late night conversation warm your hearts for a brand new year.