How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Home

New Year's Eve

Avoid the crowds of swanky downtown parties and opt for an intimate New Year’s Eve at home. Photo courtesy of End of Elm.

By Ashley Steel

New Year’s Eve is a time for great celebration, but between overcrowding at your favorite local hotspots and the dangers of drinking and driving, going out on New Year’s Eve isn’t always the best option.

What’s more, for those with children, finding kid-friendly options for ringing in the New Year can be challenging, not to mention navigating suburban streets filled with kids shooting off fireworks.

This year, celebrate the evening at home with an intimate crowd. A safe-haven for drinking, and also for children, your home offers the perfect place to reflect nostalgically on the year gone by and hope for great things in the year ahead.

Décor

Unlike most holidays, there’s not much in the way of iconic New Year’s décor. Luckily, this means that decorating for New Year’s Eve is relatively simple. However, for the festive fiend, there are still plenty of décor options available.

Balloons are a great option, because in addition to adding color and festive flavor to any room, you can pop balloons to count down the hours until the New Year, says Maggie Beaudouin of Manhattan-based public relations firm The Rosen Group. Additionally, filling balloons with a dose of confetti or resolutions can act as a fun surprise.

Cover your table with a resolution table runner, says, Beaudouin. This helps get everyone into the holiday spirit, in addition to making New Year’s resolutions a collective, shared experience.

Adorning tables and counters with clocks is another great way to remind everyone about the countdown to midnight. And, setting up a mirrored photo backdrop can provide the perfect photo op for guests, says Beaudouin.

Food and Drink

After the exhausting rush of the holiday season, it’s important to make New Year’s Eve a low key affair. Instead of cooking a gourmet meal, try ordering out from your favorite take-out spot, says Sunny Ravanbach, of the event planning company White Lilac Inc. in Costa Mesa, Calif. This allows the host to engage in the festivities without being tied up cooking and cleaning. For this holiday, a family-style buffet is the best serving option, as guests may arrive and eat at various times throughout the course of the night.

While champagne is the traditional drink of New Year’s Eve, it’s important to provide beverages that cater to non-drinkers as well. Sparkling juices can be a great alternative that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

But if champagne is old news to you, try spicing up this classic drink with a cocktail twist, says Jonathan Newman, CEO of Newman Wine and Spirits and former chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. He recommends adding a quarter shot of St. Germain (elderflower liquor) to sparkling liquor, “which adds a wonderful element to any Champagne celebration.”

Activities

While there are many ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve, a great way to pass the time is to engage in a new activity every hour until midnight, says educational therapist and life coach Cara Day. She plans different activities every year, always setting aside one hour for completing a New Year’s Eve reflection. This reflection can include questions such as: What are three things I’d like to accomplish next year? And What were my 10 favorite moments from this year?

Other activities can include making a family meal, playing a board game, going to see a movie, creating a scrapbook and watching the ball drop in Time’s Square on your TV.

Ashley Steel is staff writer/editor for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+.

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