The last vestiges of Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches have been polished off. The wrapping paper is cleared away, and Santa is safely settling in back at the North Pole. But there’s still one holiday standing between you and 2017: New Year’s Eve.
If you’re hosting the festivities this year, why not try something new by striving for the oft-unattainable balance between throwing an amazing party and having an amazing time, too? Read on for seven tips aimed at helping you host your best New Year’s Eve fete yet.
1. Get the Word Out
Whether you’re planning a small, intimate affair or throwing a full-on bash, getting the word out early is an essential part of assembling a glorious guest list. Unless you’re having a black-tie event, today’s e-vites are easy and effective. Of course, sooner than later is better. After all, for lovers of a good time, New Year’s Eve is the hottest ticket of the year.
2. Plan Your Playlist
The right music can make or break your party. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to spin tunes guaranteed to strike the right chord for your event. Raising the roof? Check out TimeOut London’s roundup of The 100 Best Party Songs. Looking for something more chill instead? TimeOut also has you covered with its Ultimate Relaxation Playlist.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, meanwhile, lifestyle guru Steve Kemble recommends soliciting three favorite songs from each of your guests and creating a custom CD to play during your event. (These also make memorable keepsake party favors!)
Not up for assembling a playlist of your own? Pandora stations ranging from “The Dance Party” to “Hipster Cocktail Party” will help you do everything from bring your “Sexyback” with Justin Timberlake to going “Back to Black” with Amy Winehouse.
3. Order In
New Year’s Eve might just be the biggest celebration of the year, so it calls for equally celebratory foods. But if you’ve spent the last month or so entertaining, the thought of heading back into the kitchen to prepare yet another meal may be an exhausting one. Luckily, there’s a delicious alternative: gourmet mail order food.
Whether you’re planning a cocktail party, sit-down dinner, or even a romantic meal for two, leading mail order company FoodyDirect has you covered with festive, flavorful options from many of the country’s leading restaurants and artisans. From lobster sushi to bite-size latkes, your guests will love your creative menu while you’ll love how easy it is to pull off an amazing meal in mere minutes.
And, of course, you’ll want to send off 2016 on a sweet note so make sure to order up dessert while you’re at it. (We find FoodyDirect’s amazing assortment of Boozy Cakes & Pies and New Year’s Eve to be a particularly fitting match.)
4. Serve a Signature Drink
Keeping the libations flowing is rule #1 for New Year’s Eve. But one way to add a stylish spin on the evening? Greet guests at the door with a themed signature cocktail. From classic champagne cocktail to Southern-inspired sparkling juleps, there are near-endless ways to dress up your celebration with a pretty holiday cocktail.
5. Stock Up on Party Favors
New Year’s Eve isn’t exactly the poster holiday for restraint. Even the most sophisticated soirees kick things up when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, so make sure you’re prepared with all the makings for revelry.
From noisemakers to party hats, the right party favors can add an element of excitement to the evening. They also make great photo props for when the selfie sticks come out. Hosts interested in going all-out, meanwhile, may want to consider the always-popular photo booth.
6. Plan for a Late Night Snack
Guests who party into the week hours may find themselves peckish as the hours tick toward daybreak. Why let them progress from hungry to hangry when you can offer up a tasty snack to keep spirits high? Our pick? A gourmet breakfast featuring sweet and savory treats.
7. Cater to the Kids
New Year’s Eve festivities aren’t just for unencumbered 20-somethings. If you are expecting guests of the under-21 variety, make sure to have plenty to keep them entertained, as well, starting with a menu featuring plenty of petite palate-pleasing offerings, like pigs in a blanket and gourmet breadsticks. A non-alcoholic signature cocktail, meanwhile, is sure to delight both kids and designated drivers.
One of our favorite New Year’s Eve traditions? Setting the clocks ahead so kids can get in on the countdown fun. Last year, Netflix even helped adults out by letting them choose their preferred time of day to ring in the New Year.
2017 is quickly bearing down on us. Are you ready to welcome it in with minimal stress and maximal style? Shop festive foods today to start planning an unforgettable New Year’s Eve menu.