DECEMBER
28
Auld Lang Syne
Erika Johnson
Auld Lang Syne
Photo Credit: Erika Johnson
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New Year’s Eve marks an evening of reflection, gratitude, and a new start.  The buildup of excitement can lead to a phenomenal gathering… or a stressful affair.

Photo Credit: Simply Seductive

Thirty New Year’s Eves into my life, I’ve comprised an equation for what makes or breaks a great soiree—and the common denominator is a relaxed hostess. Often, the host or hostess becomes so consumed in incorporating many fabulous details that she isn’t able to just enjoy! Here’s my New Year’s Eve “cheat sheet” for throwing a fabulous fete, minus the hours of prep and cleanup.

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

Are you throwing a dinner party? Personalize place settings with tinsel pipe cleaners and ribbon. Shape a tinsel pipe cleaner into the first initial of each guest, securing with a five-inch piece of curling ribbon. Tie around a folded napkin roll, curling ribbon at the ends. Voila! Darling place setting averaging about 30 seconds per guest.

Photo Credit: Inchmark

Guest Games

Personalize the evening by asking guests to write down their favorite memories of the passing year. Paper can be folded and placed into an assigned jar throughout the evening. (Shown above is a repurposed spaghetti sauce jar). At 11:45pm, the hostess can gather the group in anticipation of midnight, spending the final moments of the year reading these memories aloud.

Rather than handing out your crystal stemware or purchasing (gasp) plastic, save the best flutes for an intimate toast and purchase miniature bottles of sparkling wine for your gathering. Garnish each with a striped paper straw affixed with ribbon, and your guests will love popping their own corks and sipping from such a cute contraption. This will absolutely minimize clean up and accidental breaks.

Photo Credit: Catch My Party

Sweet Treats

Rather than slave for hours over a soufflé, bake sugar cookies the morning of the party, decorating with festive nods to the New Year. For a family-friendly party, save some “blank” cookies for the children to decorate.

Do you have additional party secrets to share? I’m just building my repertoire and I’m all ears!

- Erika

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