Invite the friends and family. Make the guest list a family affair. Keep it informal and don't be rigid about the RSVPs. The more the merrier, the fewer the more fun! Use word of mouth invitations to save money and time.
Set a dress code. Try a pajama party, but don't let some guest ruin the fun and come in clothes. This works well for the little ones (and sometimes not so little ones) who fall asleep before the ball drops. If jammies make some adults uncomfortable, remind them that lounge pants, sweatpants, shorts, and t-shirts are all forms of pajamas. Why spend the money and time dressing in partywear?
Feed them well. Keep food simple; it will save on your energy and checkbook. The tried-and-true pretzels, chips, and dips are good for starters. Keep the vegetable and fruit platter well stocked, and offer something hot that can keep in the crockpot all evening.
Entertain them. Create envelopes for each hour of the party. On every hour (Borrow a chiming clock to help the guests keep track of time.) have a child open the designated envelope. At that time all other activities must stop, and the activity on the card must be done. In the meantime, set out board games, pop in a classic movie in one room, and offer a social setting for party chatter. Your guests will find their ways to the activities they most enjoy.
Sample hourly activities are:
About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com
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Thanks for the great ideas! I have a New Years Eve party every year. It started with just 4 couples with the kids. Now we have about 40 people including kids! So much fun. With the expense of going out to dinner, our friends and family welcome a place to go with the kids. To cut the expense down, I make a punch to drink and bake a big ham. Everyone else brings a side dish, appetizer or dessert. Not a lot of work for me and everyone has a great time and we don't send alot of money.
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