New Years Eve, The 31st December, the last day of the Gregorian year and the day before New Years Day. Time to PARTY!!!!!!

Get planning over a month in advance of your party, if you are planning on hosting the party at a club, hall or restaurant you will want to book the venue months in advance as these venues generally get booked up. Decide on your guest list. Decide if you would like a theme for your New Years Eve party such as general fancy dress or you could have a themed evening like TV and Film costumes or 60’s theme or disco fever party. While putting up a few balloons and sprinkling bits of confetti is a little festive, to maintain that real fun theme and to keep your guests talking choosing a theme for the evening is definitely the way to go. The world is your oyster! Send out invitations, telling guests of times, themes, dress code, are children invited? Plan your menu or party food and drinks. Although a sit down meal for a News Year Eve Party sounds very classy and elegant, it may not always be ideal for a party like this, guests will be mingling all night long so have your food and appetizers spread over the party area, positioned in different spots around the room, ensuring to keep them filled. Order your News Year Eve party decorations, table ware, room decorations, balloons and streamers to get your party started.

Two weeks before the party finalise your guest list and follow up anyone who has not responded. Shop for your party, start to buy any food that can be made and frozen in advance and get the drinks cabinet full, a must for a New Years Eve party and remember the champagne, it is New Year after all!! Also think ahead, it’s a long evening and if your planning on partying through to the early hours an after midnight snack may be required, pizza is always a good plan of action for the 2 am munchies! You could also create a speciality cocktail for your party. The cocktail can be given a fun name, put it in some fun glasses and all will want to try it. Making one speciality cocktail can be a great money saver on wine at the party too. Start choosing the tunes and buy some disposable cameras, to capture all those moments at the party you wouldn’t want to miss. A good host of a party will be sure all guests have a way of getting home from the party after an evening filled with alcoholic beverages, maybe provide some room for guests to spend the night or ensure the designated drivers are plied with plenty of non alcoholic beverages. Make sure any taxis are pre booked as it can prove to be a very busy evening.

A few days before the party, clean the house from top to bottom, start preparing all the decorations and arranging moving the furniture and arranging the house ready for the party, start shopping for any perishable items and start to thaw any prepared frozen food.

Its New Years Eve…. Prepare the food, mix up the punch, chill the drinks not just the alcoholic ones don’t forget the mixers too and the soft drinks for any drivers out there , get the corkscrews ready, plenty of ice at hand, get the snacks and nibbles on the table, glasses at the ready, put the finishing touches to the decorations and the table get the music ready leaving enough time for a nice hot bath and plenty of time to get your fancy dress costume or your glad rags on and party!!!!!.

Top Tips if your hosting a News Years Eve Party with the little ones invited.

* If children can have a nap in the day of New Years Eve, all the better to help them get through to midnight, failing that, ensure you have a place with some sleeping bags and mattresses they can crash out on if the excitement gets too much.
* Take it in turns to look after the children so it does not fall on all parents the whole evening.
* Try to have a separate area for the children to play away from adult’s party zone but still within ear shot.
* Plan some party games for the children; it is their News year Eve Party too after all.
* Play some traditional party games, such as musical bumps, musical statues and for some quiet time still lions is a great one!
* Pin the tail on the donkey or try a piñata, the kids will love it.
* Have some party songs playing for the children.
* They could come in fancy dress or join in with the adults theme for the party.
* Food should be fun but simple, try not to overdose on the sugar too early though!
* Make different variety of sandwiches and use Cutters on the sandwich to make it bit more fun.
* Cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, cheese and pineapple, dried fruit, dips and cucumber sticks, carrot sticks and celery, crisps, bread sticks.
* Jelly and ice cream for dessert always fun, or you could make some icing and the children could ice their own cakes or biscuits and put some sweets on top to decorate.

Ideas for finger food and canapes

* Chinese snacks always work well, spring rolls with a sweet and sour dip or dim sums with sweet chilli dip.
* Mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and horseradish sauce, you can buy mini prepared Yorkshires put in a small amount of horseradish sauce and then some beef pop them in the oven and your guests will love them!
* Olives, peanuts, crisps and breadsticks or various varieties are always welcome.
* Vol au vents, prawn filled, mushroom or brie and cranberry.
* King prawns with chilli and lime, Mix the King Prawns about 20 with the zest of 2 limes and 1 red chilli chopped, marinate in the fridge for at least a couple of hours and serve with a nice mayonnaise.
* Garlic bread
* Brushetta, grill slices of coarse bread and rub with garlic and a little pepper and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Allow the bread to cool. Top the bread with freshly chopped plum or salad tomatoes and mozzarella cut up and scatter basil over the top, finish with a little more olive oil.
* Spicy chicken wings
* Dips
* Halloumi with chilli, – Mix 2 tbsp of chopped chilli and olive oil. Fry the sliced cheese for about 2 minutes a side until they are golden brown serve and drizzle with the chilli and oil and a splash of lemon juice.

Cocktail ideas
* Party Punch, Mix 1 litre of orange and mango juice, 2 litre of tropical juice, 1 litre of pineapple juice, 1 litre of apple juice with 3 shots of vodka and 2 shots of white rum with half a bottle of peach schnapps.

* Party Drink, Mix 2 measures of midori with 5 measures of vodka, 3 measures of Malibu with a dash of pineapple juice. Shake and mix with ice.

* Party hard punch, Place some fruit into a large mixing bowl, add 1 qrt of vodka and leave for fruit to absorb vodka in fridge over night. Add in 4 shots of peach schnapps, 2 shots of Malibu, 1 bottle of sparkling wine and mix together. Add 1 carton of raspberry and cranberry juice along with some lemonade, this is a tasty punch but very lethal!

Ideas for Party games
* Guess who’s resolution – Get all guests to write down 3 resolutions on separate pieces of paper, guests can take it in turns to pick a resolution and guess which guest it belongs to. You could always spice it up with a forfeit if they get the answer wrong!

* Blow that balloon – Divide the group into two teams and the winning team is the team that can keep the balloon in the air for the longest time only using their breath.

* New Year Charades – Put a slant on normal charades by only using topics, films, television and books from the last year.

* Adult Pass the parcel! – Race to open a gift wrapped box with several layers whilst being blind folded and wearing oven mitts. Hilarious to watch!

* Balloon Bang – Put a strip of paper into the balloon with different forfeits, for example sing a song, and pretend to be…. Blow up the balloon and pass round in a circle, each player has to sit on the balloon for 3 seconds with their full weight. Don’t be the one to burst the balloon or you will be carrying out the forfeit.

You have the plan, you have the food, you have the drinks and you have the games, all you need now is to relax and enjoy and see the New Year in with a bang and be remembered for the best New Years Eve Party ever!!!!

by Peter Walker

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