A Simple New Year

Celebrate New Year's Eve without a lot of fuss! Gather friends and neighbors for a warm, cozy evening inside, or go outdoors if you're an active group. You'll find all the recipes and party-planning tips you'll need for an appetizer and dessert celebration to ring in this new year.

Easy Decorations

Casual get-togethers are often impromptu and require no special decorations. If you want to decorate, consider one of these:

  • Encourage guests to bring a battery-operated alarm clock. Set the alarms to go off at midnight, and place the clocks all over the party area! Or place a collection of the clocks on a mirrored tray as a centerpiece.
  • Make a quick centerpiece by placing glittering ball ornaments in a wire basket or crystal bowl.

Fun Serving Ideas

  • Use hollowed-out colorful bell peppers, cabbage, squash or round bread loaves for fun and colorful containers to hold veggie dip.
  • Embellish mug handles or bases of stemware with metallic curly ribbon. A different color of ribbon for each guest can keep drinkware from being misplaced.
  • Bump up plain coffee served with dessert to an inviting espresso bar! Set up espresso carafes (regular and decaf) with extras for stir-ins and toppers.
    - Stir-Ins: flavored syrups, flavored creams or eggnog, cream and sugar 
    - Toppers: whipped cream, ice-cream toppings, candy sprinkles, ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Casual Party Activities

  • Got snow? Make a snowperson! Ask guests to wear appropriate clothing.
  • Build a huge bonfire--remember to check your city's ordinances! Or just gather around your backyard fire pit. Tell stories of bygone years, or predict the future.
  • Hide a treasure of gold-colored medallions, gold foil-covered chocolate coins and golden baubles and beads found in craft stores. Entice guests with creative clues to answer so they can discover the treasure by the stroke of midnight.