This year, you're throwing a New Year's Eve party for your friends in your humble abode — not because you love playing hostess, but because alternative ways to spend the evening (claustrophobic in a packed bar or club with your heels stuck to the sticky floor and $200 less in your bank account) were far worse options. These easy New Year's Eve party ideas have your name written all over them. For those whom taking on hosting duties is less about earning an A+ in event planning and more about keeping the party as close as possible to their warm bed and footed fleece onesie (so after their last drink they can literally roll over and retire), some last-minute lazy girl tips are just what 2016 ordered.
First, congratulations! Like coming of age with the truths about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, you've come to realize that New Year's Eve is actually one huge disappointment waiting to happen. But since you'll be hosting your own shindig for the once-a-year evening, you'll be in control of the night's full potential — sans outrageous cab fares, crappy well drinks, and creepy guys. You know that a successful night is more about great company and making memories. An Instagram-worthy appetizer spread and Pinterest-worthy decor don't have to be part of the mix. For the lazy girl who has her sights set on what actually counts, these tips ensure a stress-free soirée so you can get to mingling, drinking, and enjoying the last few hours of 2015 instead of slaving away over pomegranate pork belly crostini.
1. Indulge in New Year's Eve kitsch
Sure, glittery top hats and glasses that spell out 2016 are tacky, but they're also amusing and only appropriate one night of the year. Stop by a dollar store or party shop, and pick up fun NYE-themed accessories for your guests to don once they arrive. It will make for great photos (like an endless photo booth), and paraphernalia that isn't being worn can even double as decoration.
2. Make it a potluck
After surviving Thanksgiving, and every other family dinner the holidays brought, there's no need for anyone to be slaving away in the kitchen preparing multiple courses for another fête. Ask guests to bring a dish they'd like to share. There will be more variety (make sure you check in with everyone so there isn't any overlap), and less cleanup (guests will take home their serving trays at the end of the evening).
3. Provide champagne, but make everything else BYOB
As hostess, it would be gauche not to have bottles of champagne on hand to pop for the midnight toast. But beyond that, ask guests to bring their own libations for themselves or to share. You'll provide mixers and glasses, but leave the booze to them. Not only does this get you off the hook for an expensive liquor run, but it will also ensure that everyone present will have their favorite drink in hand.
4. Get crafty with what you already have
Besides picking up kitschy NYE accessories, there's no need to deck out your home in NYE-specific decor. Let pre-existing decorations pull double duty. Leave up all lights and sparkly accents, and rearrange Christmas balls and ornaments in clear vases or bowls. Bring out any decor you already own that shines or sparkles, especially if it's silver, black, or gold.
5. Let the television light up your party
While typically a party faux-pas, keep the television on during your get-together and tune in to some pre-countdown pyrotechnic action of firework displays in other time zones. Keep it at a low volume or muted so it doesn't distract from conversation, but still serves to give some added NYE flair to the evening, and keep you apprised of just how long you have until the ball drops where you are.
6. Plan the perfect playlist for ringing in the New Year
With food, drinks, decor, and entertainment covered, all you have left to set the mood is a soundtrack to your soirée. While it isn't always a wise idea to let multiple guests play DJ, let everyone take turns queuing up their all-time favorite song from 2015, then let the tracks take you back through the year and revisit memories. Once everyone's taken an audio trip down memory lane, put on a NYE playlist you've put together, or find one that's already made. Then, let the music and champagne flow.
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