Ringing in the New Year

The holidays are upon us, and that means it’s high time that you start planning your New Year’s Eve celebrations. If you’re planning on hosting a New Year’s Eve party, consider this required reading — if you’re not sure yet if you’d like to host, allow us to show you why it’s a wonderful experience. Here’s everything you need to know about ringing in the new year on your turf and on your terms.

Start the year with a party at your place

New Year’s Eve is a big night for parties. But it can be an exhausting night for parties, too. Midnight is pretty late to still be partying hard, and getting home can be fraught with danger thanks to high rates of drunk driving on New Year’s Eve and the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. The evening’s Champagne headaches give way to tough mornings that earned New Year’s Day the cheeky nickname of “National Hangover Day.” None of this is conducive to starting the new year with a positive attitude and tackling all of those New Year’s resolutions you came up with. On top of all of this, a night out on New Year’s Even can be expensive.

This is why you should throw your own New Year’s party. Sure, it comes with some responsibilities, but it allows you to enjoy the evening in your own home, get right to bed after the party ends, and start the year with a sense of accomplishment (all with a few more bucks in your pocket). Throwing parties isn’t cheap, but have you seen New Year’s Eve open bar prices?

Naturally, throwing your own New Year’s party is only the low-stress, uplifting solution to your New Year’s Eve if you do it right. But we’re here to help you with that part.

Prepare as much as possible beforehand

As with a party on any other day of the year, the key to a New Year’s Eve bash is to have things set ahead of time. Have the guest list done before you need to and have the invitations sent out on time. Prepare food that can be heated up quickly, so that you don’t have to leave the party for long when it’s time to replenish the hors d’oeuvres. Have a great variety of booze and food ready to go, and plan out your supply based on the size of your guest list and what you know about your guests’ drinking habits.

Use a great party planning checklist for New Year’s, and don’t forget the party favors! Great New Year’s parties are full of props and costumes. Silly and garish hats, noisemakers, bright decorations, and more should all be on your shopping list. And they should all be purchased (you guessed it) ahead of time.

Make your party unique with New Year’s games

New Year’s parties are usually fun, but a lot of them fall into the pattern of same-old, same-old: you arrive, you drink and eat, you watch the folks freezing to death in New York City on TV, and then you cheer at midnight and go home.

Make your party a bit more unique. There are some fun games that are unique to New Year’s parties, and they can really bring the party together. If you guest list is intimate enough, consider the New Year’s version of the classic “two truths, one lie” party game: have guests share two of their real New Year’s resolutions and one made-up resolution while their fellow partygoers try to guess which one is fake. Or how about a game of making New Year’s resolutions for others? How about giving away your party favors and noisemakers in a raffle, or by having guests pick them while blindfolded?

You’ll have to use your discretion as a host to figure out where the sweet spot is for your party, but be sure to have options for entertainment besides the old TV feed of Times Square.

Combat drunk driving

New Year’s Eve is a dangerous night to be on the road. The early hours of New Year’s Day can be even worse. You’ll be safe at home, but make sure that your guests are taken care of — and that they don’t contribute to the problem. If you have the ability to do so, consider welcoming some guests to stay overnight.

Help guests by supplying phone numbers with cab companies or using modern rideshare apps. And be adamant about not letting anyone who is intoxicated leave your party behind the wheel. It’s your responsibility to keep your partygoers safe!

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