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New Year's Christmas decorations usually make me a little sad. So this year I have decided to make a new tradition. Throughout the week between Christmas and New Year's, we are taking down some of the decorations we have throughout our home, and ceremoniously storing them away.
On New Year's Eve we will slowly take down our tree, counting down as we go! This would be great for children to participate in. We obviously don't go out and party on New Year's Eve. We usually stay at home with some food trays, and watch the festivities on TV. This way, we are "prepared" for the New Year to come! :D
By Donna from Sterling, PA
With the craziness of the holidays, a New Year's Eve party that requires pajamas to pass the dress code sounds inviting. This year, try a family party with family fun. It will be less fuss and more fun!
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:
Help the kids ring in the New Year with these fun activities.
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I'd like some ideas for a family-oriented New Year's Eve party (decorating ideas, favors, recipes, etc.).
How about lots of balloons? Since helium can get expensive, I blow up balloons, tie a long curling ribbon to each, and tape them to the ceiling with a small roll of tape. No-one every guess I didn't use helium! How about making noisemakers at the party to use at midnite-put some pennies, beans, rocks or whatever into a soda can and tape shut. Cover with paper, tie both ends like a bonb-bon and decorate as desired.
A New Year's Eve family tradition at our house is to open fortune cookies. They're not very expensive. Also, you can purchase an 8 count package of champagne poppers at the $1 store. The kids love those because of the loud noise and confetti.
I once went to a party where the host had us all right down on a sheet of paper our prayer requests for the year - you could do goals or resolutions also. We put the papers in an envelope with our name and SHE kept the envelopes until the next years party when we got to open them and see how things turned out.
Our family celebrates by having fondue for dinner (MUCH less cooking for me - and FUN and DELICIOUS) and then we play charades most of the evening (we make up our own charades and write them on little pieces of paper and put them in a bowl or hat to draw from). At midnight, after we've hugged everyone, we grab pots and pans and lids and go outside (yes, in the cold) and bang everything very loudly and we all yell at the top of our lungs, "Happy New Year"!
some friends of mine had a game night -- guests brought their favorite board game, puzzles, etc. Munchies were provided, guests brought their beverage of choice (alcoholic or not). Those who planned to drink were encouraged to also plan on spending the night -- and bring their own pillows and blankets, as well! At the stroke of midnight everyone greeted the new year with noisemakers and cheers. It was lots of fun and very inexpensive!
I am planning on throwing a surprise birthday party for my boyfriend's 21st birthday on New Year Eve! My problem is, I want his family to come and also his friends, but I don't want this to become a purely drinking party or his family will be uncomfortable (a lot of them are Morman). So does anyone have any ideas of themes or activities that I can plan that can keep people occupied and not drinking all night? And also I need ideas for foods for people to bring.
Shannon from Kelowna BC
Why not invest in some of the newer DVD games? Like Scene-It. A speciality, like the Disney edition is most certainly LDS friendly. Music, charades, (corny? depends upon point of view, but better than drinking) Trivial Pursuit... there are so many editions out there, why not rent a series of movies.. like the entire star wars or harry potter, and do all of the above? What about Shout out (Like Scene it, but no board) Also, asking your boyfriend (in a roundabout way) what he likes at parties... Or if you are brave enough, talk to the Bishop of the church (like a pastor, or priest. He may help you with ideas. or even better, talk with his mother and/or father) Nothing expensive, and ask friends to bring pot luck, one main dish and one either side dish or dessert. Keep a list of that, so you don't have one or two main dishes and umteen dozen desserts and side dishes.
Make punch. You can offer one with alcohol and one without, but you may need to label them. (This can be served in a pitcher if you dont have a punch bowl..) Buy a How to Host a Murder game or another board type game... or play charades or Scattergories. Check online for good deals... Try to have more than one activity because it can be a long night... You can even have several games for small groups of people ... like 2 -4 players. WE used to play a game where beforehand you prepared a tray and with several different objects (maybe 20?) on it. You passed the tray around the room. Then take away the tray and ask the players to write down as many as they can remember... Maybe you can find a book of such games at the library... good luck.
About the drinking issue, the easiest way is to minimize the amount of drinking is to not serve alcohol! Bring out the champagne for toasting at midnight, but otherwise just don't have any alcoholic drinks available. We have alcohol-free parties frequently, and no one ever seems to mind the lack, especially when there are fun activities to participate in and interesting people to talk with.
The activities you choose will be dependent on what types of people you have coming. Some folks are the flamboyant karaoke types, while others are the more quiet chess types. Try to have a mix of both kinds of activities.
An inexpensive game that our family likes is Dictionary (not Pictionary, Dictionary). All you need is a big dictionary and some pens and paper scraps. The person who is "it" finds a word in the dictionary that he/she hopes no one else knows, and reads the word aloud (not the definition, just the word itself). Then on the scraps of paper, each of the other players writes down a definition for the word, either a real definition if he/she knows it, or a made-up defintion. The person who is "It" also copies out the correct definition. "It" then collects all of the definitions and reads them out loud. The not-"it" players vote for which one they think is the right one (and no fair voting for your own definition!). Player A wins a point when player B chooses player A's definition as the correct one. Folks can also win points for choosing the correct definition. Whoever wins the most points then becomes "it" for the next round, or you can just pass the "it"status around the table in turn. This may not sound like a very interesting game, but I assure you that it soon gets quite hilarious. The made-up definitions get extremely inventive! And all types of people seem to enjoy this game. The flamboyant types like to come up with wild, funny, and sometimes risqué definitions, while the more introverted types like to quietly slip in a zinger now and then.
Oh, and a good ice breaker game that I like to use is to (ahead of time) come up with a theme (say, birthdays, or New Year's, or the year in review) and then think up a bunch of key words related to that theme. Write one key word on each label, and when guests come in, stick one on each person's back. The object of the game is to have them ask yes-no questions of the other guests to figure out what it is. The catch is that each person may only ask 3 questions of any other person. No fair asking 25 questions to just one other guest. The point is to get folks circulating and talking with people that they might not otherwise interact with at all. And the game gives them a conversation opener.
Make sure someone doesn't spike the punch!!!!!!
If you have a punch bowl, serve immediately directly from it if there is a special beverage you are making. Otherwise, if you let it sit out on a table, something might easily be poured into it.
I'm having a New Year's Eve party with some of my friends from my local youth group. We're going swimming first (So some pool games would be appreciated too!) and then coming back to my house and just hanging out together and staying the night in tents, but I'm worried we'll be bored. The ages range from 12-22, with the average being 16. It is predicted to be hot that night and I don't want anyone passing out. We're a bit of a crazy bunch, and very comfortable with each other, and there is a mix of girls and boys, so a wide variety games should be appropriate!
Thanks heaps! (:
Sit on a circle and hand out as many cards to each person as there are people playing (so 23 people = 23 cards) and then go around the circle one at a time with each person saying a truthful statement starting with "I have never..." eg. "I have never gone skydiving" Everyone on the group who also has never gone skydiving has to give the person making the statement a card. Whoever ends up with the most cards wins. It's fun in a mixed age group and challenging to find something that will bring you a lot of cards.
Do you have any last minute ideas for a small bar's New Year's Eve party?
By lisa from Texakana, TX
Set a theme of some king, maybe like a hat theme. Where everyone has to come with a hat on of any kind, prizes for craziest, most elegant, most original, etc.
Give away some promotions to increase your business, too:
1. Bounceback Gift
This is a good idea when you normally have a slow month after a busy month.
Prepare small envelopes that contain a 10% or 20% discount on their meal, a free dessert or entrée or even a gift certificate. You can put in a lucky draw bowl and let the guest (who dines a certain amount) pick one. The vouchers is valid for the next month (the slow month).
2. Frequent Diner Passport
This can be used if you have daily buffets or brunches. Create a passport or something similar, where every time a guest dines or spends a certain amount, the service staffs stamps the passport. If they collect say 10- 12 stamps they can perhaps get a free buffet or brunch depending on your outlet. You can also put the guest picture and mailing address on the booklet.
3. Employee Marketing Challenge.
Create vouchers and pass to your staff. Have them sign on the back of the vouchers. Let them distribute the vouchers to any one they want.The vouchers can be discount for purchase for a meal. Give a prize to the staff that has the most vouchers coming back to the restaurant. This makes the staff feel important and also if he/ she wants to win a prize he needs to give to people that he/she knows will come and dine.
Have a dance competition (maybe not the right name for it), write down the names of different dance styles through the eras and have the "brave" ones in couples pull one out from a "hat" and imitate that style and then everyone else has to join in. (Charleston, Swing, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Salsa, Hip-Hop, The Swim, the Jerk, the Mashed Potato, the Twist, etc).
Have plenty of horns and noisemakers and appetizer/finger foods.
Play the NAME GAME: Have everyone print their full name on a label, then you call out letters (from the Scrabble board is good to use) or just print your own and put into a hat. Whatever letter is called, they cross it out in their name (if they have 3 "E's", they cross them all out) game ends when someone calls out "BINGO" or whatever you want them to say! Give them a free gift of some kind.
Have some great music ready to liven the place up, hope there's room to dance and you get equal number of female/male guests :D.
Do a multiplication dance, have 2 people start out dancing. A few seconds later stop music and they go and pick 2 NEW people to pull out onto the floor. Few seconds later, those 4 people go and grab 4 other people, keeps going til everyone is out there! Play some kind of moderately fast music (don't want slow).