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Hostess essentials for planning the finest New Year’s Eve party

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Clinking glasses of champagne in hands on bright lights background

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Planning a New Year’s Eve party? You’ve probably got a lot to do, but don’t worry! With a bit of planning and creativity, you can impress all your family and friends with the finest New Year’s party they’ve ever been to. Use these tips as a guide while you’re planning the big party, and feel free to add or omit anything on the list. It’s your party after all, so make it your own to ring in the New Year in style.

Decorations

When thinking about decorations, think sparkle. New Year’s Eve is about celebrating (and drinking) so let your decorations reflect the excitement everyone feels. Gold or silver would work well as the main colors since they come in amazing glitter colors, of course. Have some fun and be creative with your color scheme.

Confetti

Gold or silver confetti scattered on top of tables in the kitchen and living room will add some magic to anyone who gathers around them. Just make sure it doesn’t get into any food or drinks.

Table cloths

Draping something glittery and bright over the tables in your home will add a ton of magic to the space. Whether it’s a full table cloth or just a table runner, it will take everything up a notch.

String lights

Hang some string lights wherever you see fit—around cabinets, the television, windows or entryway. Your guests will feel like they stepped into another world.

Food & drink

Having food and drinks for your guests is essential. Chances are, most will be drinking, so food is needed to keep everyone healthy and happy (if you know what I mean). Keep it simple but include a few different choices for any picky eaters or kids.

Champagne

Does this really need an explanation? Pop some bubbly.

Sparkling cider

For those who aren’t of age to drink, sparkling cider is a fun way to keep them included. Not to mention, kids love it.

Plastic champagne flutes

Whether champagne or sparkling cider will be filling them, having glass flutes is a recipe for disaster. Play it safe with some cheap plastic champagne flutes to avoid a huge mess that disrupts the party.

Appetizers & snacks

The day of, prepare some simple appetizers that will wow your guests. Things like crab cakes, pigs in a blanket, spinach artichoke dip and any other recipes you have up your sleeve will please everyone. Also include some crunchy foods like pretzels or cheese and crackers for a lighter snack. One of the best part about parties is the food, right?

Other beverages

Water and soda are good in addition to alcohol to have on hand for anyone who doesn’t want the usual New Year’s Eve drinks. Create a cute pitcher full of a fruity drink that will look nice on the countertop or in the living room. Don’t forget ice, too.

Entertainment

There are obvious things you need for a New Year’s Eve party, or it wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve. Most of these you probably already have, but make sure they’re ready to go and not broken when the big day comes.

Television

How else are you going to watch the ball drop? Before midnight, use it to play music or just keep it off to avoid distracting guests.

Music

Party music is essential for before the big celebration. Create a playlist ahead of time, and make sure to include songs and genres that everyone attending will like. Don’t forget you also need a sound system. Your television could be used if you have the right equipment, but if you have surround sound (lucky duck) the latter is the obvious choice. Keep the music loud enough to hear, but not too overpowering that it disrupts conversation.

Photo booth

A fun idea—create a photo booth with a back drop and props for your guests to take pictures in front of. Hang a large piece of paper or a sheet against a solid wall, and have a bucket of props (think glasses, hats, mustaches) nearby to play with. You could even create a #hashtag for everyone to use so you can find the pictures later on social media.

Party favors

Having party favors is what makes your guests really remember the occasion in the most fun way possible. Be sure to include some fun hats and glasses for any kids (or adults who act like kids), confetti poppers, and sparklers if anyone will be outside.

Lauren is a part-time editorial and graphic contributor at 301 Digital Media who has a strange obsession with cats and a love for Drake that will never be reciprocated. Follow her on Instagram: @lpetermeyer