You don’t have to add to your holiday stress and debt trying to decide what you should do to ring in the new year. Why don’t you just invite a few close friends over and ring in the New Year with an easy, intimate party at home.
1. Plan Games ~ Make light of New Year’s resolutions by turning them into a guessing game. Give partygoers cards (download the New Year Playing Cards) and have guests finish the sentences with hopeful wishes―or tongue-in-cheek witticisms. Gather the cards, read them aloud randomly, then let the gang try to figure out who wrote what. Print cards with these fill-in-the-blanks: “The bad habit I want to kick this year is ―――.” “The good deed I want to do this year is ―――.” “The person I want to be more like this year is ―――.” “The skill I want to learn this year is ―――.”
2. Pick Up the Provisions
~ Snacks: Let guests nibble on hearty little bites, as well as tidbits from gourmet markets, such as Bella Cucina Artichoke Lemon Pesto, Food Should Taste Good Olive Tortilla Chips, Sahale Soledad Almonds, and Tillen Farms Pickled Crispy Carrots.
Drinks: For a refreshing alternative to Champagne, try Prosecco or nonalcoholic Twelve, a fizzy blend of fruit and herbal tea (twelvebeverage.com).
Dessert: Chocolate Bar Fondue with fruit and pound cake for dipping, in a fondue pot.
Favors: Give guests parting gifts of good fortune. Pack up black-eyed peas (which bring good luck, according to southern tradition) in a box or cellophane bag and a recipe.
3.Prepare Food ~ No need for an elaborate menu. Serve these hearty bites for a relaxed but festive celebration:
Pears With Blue Cheese and Prosciutto
Mini Salami Puff Sandwiches (shown)
Chickpea and Mint Crostini
4. Play Music ~ Celebrate the new year with these 10 songs:
“Fly Me to the Moon,” Frank Sinatra
“Golden Years,” David Bowie
“It Had to Be You,” Harry Connick Jr.
“Mas Que Nada,” Sergio Mendes, featuring the Black Eyed Peas
“Night Time Is the Right Time,” Ray Charles
“Put Your Records On,” Corinne Bailey Rae
“Rock Steady,” Aretha Franklin
“Save the Last Dance for Me,” Michael Buble
“The Best Is Yet to Come,” Tony Bennett
“Twiggy Twiggy,” Pizzicato 5
To sample and purchase these New Year’s Eve songs, head on over to iTunes.com.