New Year's Party Tips

It's out with the old and in with the fresh, new ideas for a successful New Year's party.

Things to Remember

  • When family and friends ask what to bring, why not suggest that they lend you serving platters, beverage glasses or any other items you may need for the day?
  • The amount to serve per person depends on how long the party will last and what type of party you're having. For example, if you're having an appetizer party in place of a meal, plan to have six to eight different appetizers, with 10 to 14 bites per person. If the appetizers are a precursor to your meal, plan to serve three to four different appetizers, counting on four to five bites per person.
  • Keep it simple! Don't make every recipe from scratch; consider adding a few premade items to your menu if you're pressed for time. Or, if friends and family members offer to bring an appetizer, give them direct suggestions and ideas. That way, you won't end up with two cheese trays.
  • Include make-ahead recipes in your menu to avoid a last-minute rush. Refrigerate or store prepared appetizers as directed on the package, wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap or placing in a sealed storage container.

Easy Extras

  • Check out your local dollar store for paper plates, cups and decorations.
  • Set out extra side tables for your guests to set down their food and beverages. Have extra chairs, too.
  • Instead of purchasing music for your party, head to your local library to borrow a variety of CDs.

Game On

  • Keep the conversation going with simple, impromptu trivia games (with preprinted answers) such as "Top 10 movies of 1986" or "Best-selling songs of '60s."
  • For instant fun, place simple board games in spots around your home.


  • Beverages are a great item for your guests to bring, because you know they'll get the drinks they prefer. Or, consider one specialty drink at the party and then that out with beer, wine and soda.
  • Have a "starving" college student in your family? Hire him or her to help wait on guests.

New Year's Recipes»

Recipes for Party Appetizers»

How to Host an Appetizer Party»

Holiday Cocktail Party»