New Year’s Eve Party Planning

New Year’s Eve parties are some of the biggest parties of the year.  The entire country and a good part of the world pauses to celebrate another year of triumph, commemorate our losses and vow to do better in the coming year.  These parties will be some of the most memorable of the year and are actually quite easy to plan.

Decide the Venue The venue will depend on the number of people attending.  If booking a venue before to start pricing well in advance as a limited number of places allow midnight parties and they will be booked early.  If having a small get together at someone’s home will be best to allow guests to sleep off the alcohol and drive home safely in the morning.

Send the Invitations – People make plans for new year’s pretty far in advance.  So as soon as you have the idea start making it known you plan on hosting something.  Start spreading the word in October but do not actually send invites until after thanksgiving.  Be sure the invitations are sent by the first week in December. Be sure to ask for RSVPs to help plan food and festivities.

Plan the Menu Finger foods and buffets are best if the festivities will be going into the new year.  A dinner party can be held earlier in the evening allowing guests to head to other parties or home to intimately celebrate the first moments of the new year.

Music, Music, Music! A party like this requires music. An iPod on shuffle can do the trick or a computer play list sent to the surround sound.  For larger parties, a DJ can be hired but they will be in demand so expect costs to be high. Be sure to include classics for New Year’s parties like Auld Lang Syne, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve, and Party Like It’s 1999. For at home parties, party games on consoles are also now popular. Music and sports games are a favorite. Think Rock Band and Wii Sports.

Don’t Forget the Ball Drop – Make sure there is a TV tuned to the festivities in a local time zone for guests to keep an eye on the time.

Favors Galore Party hats, disposable cameras and noise makers are New Year’s Eve party favorites.  Confetti bags are also fun if the party will be going outside at the stroke of midnight. Sparklers are also fun if used safely.  The consumption of alcohol is not recommended before using sparklers.

Mind the Traditions

Some traditions include :

  • The person you kiss at midnight will be with you all year.
  • Announcing New Year’s resolutions is a long standing tradition.
  • The first visitor of the new year is said to bring either good luck or bad. A tall dark haired man is considered very lucky. Female first visitors are said to bring bad luck on the household as are blonds and redheads.  It is considered even luckier if the first visitor comes bearing gifts.  Salt, bread and a sprig of evergreen would make a very lucky first gift.
  • Good luck foods for the new year include anything in the shape of a ring (to symbolize coming full circle), black eyed peas, any pork (because pigs dig forward), cabbage and rice.
  • Chicken is considered bad luck because chickens scratch backwards in the dirt
  • Toasting the new year is a popular tradition.
  • Filling the cupboards is another tradition. It is said meeting the new year with empty cupboards will mean tight times and famine all year.
  • Paying all debts- It is considered bad luck to meet the new year in debt.  Bills should be paid and checks mailed prior to January first.  All personal debts should also be paid.
  • Nothing should leave the house the first day of the new year, not even garbage. Any presents that need delivering on New Year’s day should be hidden in the car if it is safe overnight or delivered on New Year’s Eve. Just don’t take them out of the house on the first day of the new year. If things must be removed be sure something is brought in first. People who live alone or will not have visitors sometimes ensure this rule by tying a string to a basket of goodies on the doorstep and pulling it in after the stroke of midnight using the string to avoid reaching out and breaking the rule.
  • Do a token amount of work successfully on the first day of the new year but not too much. It is lucky to succeed at work but too much will mean a year of hard work ahead.
  • Wear new clothes on the first day of the new year to increase the likelihood that there are more new things to follow.
  • Avoid crying and breaking things
  • Do not pay back loans or lend money on the first day of the new year or you are said to pay out all year.
  • Letting the old year out is also a popular and old tradition. Doors and windows are flung open at the stroke of midnight to let the old year out so the new year can come take the place of the old one.
  • The loud noise from noise makers and pots and pans is said to scare of the evil spirits form entering the new year.

Keep Everyone Safe


Be sure people are taking cabs home or there are designated drivers or sleeping arrangements for those who have been drinking.

Make sure everything is planned well in advance so the host can enjoy the party as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or contributions and put people in charge of tasks that will need doing as the night progresses.

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