While it’s fun to go out for New Year’s Eve, too many partiers make the roads dangerous. So consider a fun option instead – a progressive party in your neighborhood to recognize the year’s change.
Living in Arizona we actually have two time choices to celebrate the transition: we can stick with midnight or take advantage of the ball dropping in Times Square at 10 p.m. our time to wrap up the evening early. This is particularly useful if you are including children.
To plan the evening, recruit hosts that live close by. Include your street or cul-de-sac and maybe one or two other adjoining blocks. For the event itself, if you’re wrapping up at 10, you could start at 7 p.m. Plan to stay at each house about 45 minutes. The first two homes with times of 7 to 7:45 p.m. and 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. could each offer a signature appetizer and beverage. 8:30 to 9:45 might be dessert, and the 9:45 home could feature champagne and sparkling cider while everyone counts down the ball dropping.
To make the evening extra festive, add noisemakers and hats at various homes. Your group could also sing a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” as midnight approaches. Print some copies of the song’s lyrics so everyone can join in together.
After the party is over, you may find that neighbors are friendlier since they’ve had a chance to get to know each other better. It also gives new neighbors a chance to get acquainted. This could become an annual event on your block and lead to other social events in your neighborhood.
For many children, New Year’s Eve may seem like a mysterious adult event that happens while they’re asleep. But you can make the change to 2014 something special for your children without the champagne, and even without staying up until Midnight. Check out these ideas.
Take advantage of time differences. If you live in Central, Mountain or Pacific Time, you can have your children celebrate an earlier midnight – there will be a live webcast of the ball dropping in Times Square at this link, so you can watch the year change with your children and still get them to bed well before midnight.
Make some noise. Party and discount stores are ready for the New Year with noisemakers, streamers and confetti. Have a dress rehearsal before midnight. You can split the children into two groups, with the adults determining which group is the loudest or most enthusiastic. This gives the kids a chance to be extra noisy and energetic several times before 2014 hits.
Out with the old and in with the new. Have everyone write down all of the things that happened in 2013 that they want to forget, and burn them in a fireplace, fire pit, or fire-safe container. Then have everyone write down lists of what they want in 2014. They could tie their lists to helium balloons and release them just before the New Year.
Write predictions. Have everyone write down their predictions for themselves and others in 2014. Encourage silliness. Read the notes aloud, and then save them to read next New Year’s Eve. This could become a fun tradition for family and friends.
However you decide to celebrate, it will be more enjoyable if you include everyone in the family. And at Fulton Homes we all hope you and yours have a terrific 2014!
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or invite a crowd of people to have a fun New Year’s Eve party. Here are a few suggestions to make your evening special.
Choose guests strategically: Invite a handful of your favorite people. Two or three couples or a few close friends makes a nice gathering. Smaller groups give everyone more of an opportunity to relax and interact.
Focus on little foods: Pick up a half-dozen frozen appetizers at your grocery or warehouse store. Options range from mini-tacos to bacon-wrapped scallops, depending upon your budget and preferences. You may want to add a couple of interesting cheeses with several types of crackers. Plan to stagger the treats throughout the evening. You may want to end with holiday cookies or serve a dessert. Include some hearty choices so people don’t miss having a regular dinner.
Plan a little decadence: Consider having one luxury item such as shrimp cocktail or scallops, and pick up a few particularly tempting dessert choices such as the items shown in the photo to the right. Bring some bling to your table with bright gold and silver beads or confetti. Pick up a nice bottle of sparkling wine for midnight and include the option of sparkling juice for those who don’t drink.
Plan for fun: Horns, hats, noisemakers, sparklers can all make midnight more entertaining. Have people write their resolutions for 2013 on small pieces of paper and put them all in a box or bowl. You can then pull them out to read one-by-one and have people guess whose resolution each one is.
Have fun yourself: Plan ahead so that food and drink are easy enough that you can spend most of your time with your guests rather than fixing things. By keeping things simple, you all can have a lovely time.