New Year’s Eve party ideas

This time next week it will be 2012. Crazy!

I’ll be attending rather than hosting a party this year. But in case you are planning a party, or just like to stalk party ideas like me, I thought I’d share my NYE party from last year and some ideas from around the web.

My 2010 New Year’s Eve party:

I hosted 25-ish friends and family members last December to count down 2010. It started around 8 p.m. and although several people stayed the whole time, many also came and went, open house style, which I thought worked great.

Oh, and one note before we get into it, these are real, casual family photos that predate the blog. They weren’t staged or expected to be revealed on the Web, so they might be blurry or blown out. Sorry!

I made several appetizers and desserts, many of which were in honor of New Year’s traditions for good luck from around the world.

Circular items are considered good luck on New Year’s symbolizing the year coming “full circle.” So, I made crab cake balls, ham and gruyere thingys, mini cheesecakes and red velvet cupcakes. 

The ham and gruyere thumbprints I didn’t take a picture of but here’s Martha’s:

They did look pretty like that and they froze well.

However, I hated them (I thought they tasted like dry dog kibble). Apparently lots of other people liked them because the trayful was mostly eaten. I didn’t have enough people for that amount to be polite nibblers. 

Miniature crab cakes were easy for guests to grab and eat. They were so delicious I'm craving them as I type this.

 [Martha Stewart’s recipe for Asian sesame crab cakes here]

Cheesecakes--starting at the top and going clockwise--s'more, vanilla, eggnog and pumpkin.

[Recipes adapted but originally from these s’more, vanilla, eggnog and pumpkin cheesecakes]

In the background are my red velevet cupcakes and decorations. Front and center is me with my little cousin. How cute is she?!

[Cheated with Betty Crocker box mix and I don’t regret it for a second. So delicious.]

I decorated with as much theme-y stuff I could find. Of course, hats, noise makers and tiaras are super fun if you have the right crowd. You can see mine above because I’m happily corny that way. 🙂

Red and silver because that was my Christmas colors for 2010 and the silver lent itself to the New Years sparkle. I also arranged clocks with alarms all set to go off at midnight.

Just some of the clocks, even an hourglass.

 On top of the clock display were chocolate coins wrapped in red and silver foil that I found at World Market. Coins are said to be good luck but for obvious reasons–you’re richer with them! Mine were just symbolic…sorry, friends. 😉

Next to the coins is a little sign explaining the tradition. I made them for all the food and decorations.

12 skewered grapes to eat at midnight.

You can see the tag explaining the tradition behind the grapes. Here it is close-up:

Why I served grapes on a stick...

 To make the tags, I simple used Microsoft Word and photo paper in my own printer. I found a picture of glitter online. Then I magnified it and repeated it across the document page. I set up a series of text boxes with the verbiage for each food or tradition and then inserted the { shape. I colored it red to match my scheme and rotated them to set off each text box. Then just print and cut out! I used the excess paper taped to the back of each tag to make them stand up.

2011 New Year’s Eve party ideas:

For a website with a ton of New Year’s tradition history, click here.

Here are some of my favorite NYE party eye candy recently:

Resource list below

  1. Ring in a Bright New Year invitation from
  2. Cinnamon Eggnog Martini from
  3. Personal champagne bottle tablesetting from I love the tags that are printed with a countdown.
  4. Confetti! from
  5. All white inspiration from
  6. Handmade poppers filled with Hershey’s Kisses from All guests “pop” them at the stroke of twelve for a midnight kiss. How cute?!

Of course, last year, I didn’t have Pinterest. I didn’t even look there because I’m sure I would’ve ended up with enough beautiful and creative stuff to throw 10 New Year’s parties.

Where will you be when the ball drops?

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