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Throw a great New Year's party

by Gwen (follow)
Gwen O'Toole is the director of a boutique event management and creative services company, The Ideas Library. Visit www.TheIdeasLibrary.com.au
Life Skills (68)      Parties (18)      Fun (18)      Entertaining (10)     
With New Year's eve just around the corner, now's probably the time when your friends and family are all asking what your plans are for celebrating.

New Years Eve
If your New Year's plans involve staying in for a celebration at home, here's how to make your party great. Image credit: Billy/sxc.hu

Sadly, for many people New Year's Eve can be a nightmare, especially if you live in a major city. Crowds everywhere, itís tricky to find a decent spot to watch any fireworks without having to reserve that spot for over twelve hours and often walking home is your only option as public transport gets clogged up and taxis are as rare as hen's teeth.

So if you're looking to avoid the hassle on New Year's eve and have instead decided to throw a celebration at your place, here's how to ensure your night in a success.

New Years Eve
A party isn't a party without plenty of food. Image credit:Alex Bruda/sxc.hu

1. Have enough food.
Itís impossible to have a bad time when thereís tasty food around. Make sure to stock up with cheese, crackers, antipasti, deli meats, nibbles, etc,

Go as high quality as you can but no need to break the bank. If you do have a budget for it, getting your event catered (even if its just finger foods) can make hosting a party far less stressful and clean up a whole lot easier.

Itís also wise to stock up on some more substantial snacks for when youíve had too much champagne and the post-midnight munchies hit!

The fastest way to ruin a party is to run out of drinks! Make sure you stock up. Image credit Mia Mia/sxc.hu

2. Have even more drinks.
Itís New Years Eve. Always buy more than you think. Estimate how many bottles of champagne, wine, etc you'll need, then double it. And then add in a few extra bottles just in case. Seriously, you may be surprised how quickly alcohol goes, especially on New Year's. Nobody wants to be at the party that ran out of drinks (especially if it happens before midnight!) Don't worry if you overbuy, you can always use it later on.

Be a DJ of one. Find a great playlist and stick to it. It'll save guests bickering over whose music to listen to all night. Image credit:Svilen Milev/sxc.hu

3. Get the tunes happening.
Music is essential for a great party as it fills the room. So instead of laboring over creating the perfect playlist with music that everyone will like, it's far easier to use free online sites like Spotify or Pandora radio and choose a genre. Once you find a great playlist that suits the kind of party vibe you're looking for, you can just let it play during the night and enjoy your evening.

Make it easy for those who want to watch the fireworks to do so. Image credit:Sirje Koop-Palmqvist/sxc.hu

4. Make watching fireworks an option.
For some people, watching the fireworks bring in the New Year is an essential, for others it's not. So to ensure you don't disappoint, turn on the biggest television on the house that's in a communal area about 30 minutes prior to midnight and hit the mute button. It'll provide a few talking points to keep the party conversation going and just before midnight you can un-mute and enjoy the show without leaving the comfort of your home.

Prepare glasses of champagne for everyone so you can watch the fireworks together while wishing each other a happy new year, and promising yourself that you will achieve all the things this year that you meant to achieve last year.

party poppers
Create a festive atmosphere by having plenty of party poppers around and don't stress about the clean up. Image credit:Neil Gould/sxc.hu

5. Create a festive environment.
Forget about the clean-up that will follow in the morning. It's a party. Everyone loves party poppers, novelty hats, those silly plastic glasses, etc. Sure, they are ridiculous, but a few drinks into your party and suddenly these little trinkets are a whole lot cooler. Also leaving a Polaroid camera around for guests to pick up can make for a few great laughs and memories later on.

If you have the space, hang up a string with mini clothes pegs that guests can pink up their photos throughout the night. Guests will love looking through them as the night goes on and the next morning, they might assist you in remembering the evening a little more clearly.

6. Donít invite the wet blanket
Keep your party limited to only the people you really want there. The friends and family who will be fun and bring you up instead of flattening your party. You know the people I mean, the ones who drink too much and get overly emotional or the one who gets a little bit offensive when they drink too much. Don't risk it, you don't want to ruin your night or your guests, by making apologies for one of your guests.

party poppers
A hearty breakfast the next morning is always the best way to start a New Year. Image credit:DCWG/sxc.hu

**7. Start your New Year's Day right.
Make sure you have a decent breakfast waiting in the fridge to eat on New Years Day. Trust me, you'll want one.

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