Party in Style – New Year’s Eve Decorations, Food and Games

by Sean Bryant on December 30, 2013

Ever since I was a kid I have always loved New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s because it gives me the opportunity to spend time with friends and family while I eat appetizers, drink champaign and celebrate what the new year has in store for all of us. For some, the thought of hosting a New Year’s Eve party can be a little daunting. The cost, the stress and everything else attached with having people over can be a little overwhelming. The good news is it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have Pinterest approved decorations, appetizers and fun games. By following some of these simple tips, you can keep the cost inline with your budget, reduce stress and still ensure that your guests have a great time.

New Year’s Eve Decorations

New Year’s Eve decorations might be one of the easiest things about throwing a New Year’s Eve party. A quick trip to a destination like Party City and you can have all your decorations bought for less than you might expect.

Use leftover Christmas ribbons

A great idea for decorating your home is to use any leftover ribbon that you might have from wrapping all of your Christmas presents. Lightly run a knife through it so it give the ribbon slight curls and then hang them from your ceiling. If you want to take this idea a step further you could fill a bunch of balloons with helium, add the Christmas ribbons and then attached different photos of events that happened throughout the past year. New Years Party Hats

DIY New Year’s Party Hats

There is no better way to keep yourself within a budget than getting things for free. Instead of purchasing New Year’s party hats, you can make them yourself. All you need to do is print out these free templates, add a little glitter and you’re good to go. Votive DIY Votive Candles

If you are anything like my wife, then you probably love using candles. They make the house smell great and give any occasion a little extra ambiance. The only problem is that the basic candle can get a little boring. Instead, you can try taking your standard votive candle and cover them with gold thumbtacks. To give your New Year’s Eve party a little extra sparkle you could even ad a little glitter to the candles.

Appetizer for New Year’s Eve

Preparing food tends to be one of the most expensive and the most stressful part of hosting any type of party. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are several great food options that are quite simple to fix and your guests will love them. Keep in mind that your guests are not looking for you to fix them a ten course meal. A few appetizers that will keep them comfortable, but not make them want to unbutton their pants is perfect.

Cream cheese crescent rolls

A few years ago, my wife and I were celebrating the New Year with some friends and they fixed cream cheese crescent rolls and they have quickly become a go-to appetizer when we have friends over.  They are super easy to fix and everyone loves them. Ingredients

  • 1 can of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 container of flavored cream cheese (we use garden vegetable)

Directions

  1. Start by laying your crescent rolls flat on a greased baking pan
  2. Place approximately 1 Tbsp of cream cheese in the middle of the crescent roll
  3. Roll up the crescent roll and place evenly on the baking pan
  4. Cook at 350°F for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown

Slow Cooker Cocktail Meatballs

Another popular appetizer that my wife and I like to fix for our friends is cocktail meatballs. These are super easy, because all you need to do is toss all of the ingredients into a slow cooker. Ingredients

  • 1 bag of turkey meatballs (you can use beef)
  • 1 jar of chili sauce
  • 1 can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 package of onion soup mix

Directions

  1. Start by spraying your slow cooker with cooking spray and then add the meatballs
  2. In a mixing bowl mix together the chili sauce, cranberry sauce and onion soup mix
  3. Once you have combine the ingredients you can add the mixture to the top of the meatballs
  4. Cook on high or low until the meatballs are hot

Herbed Cheese Spread

Herbed Cheese Spread

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Boursin cheese and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect on crackers and you can buy a three pack of it at Costco for the price you would pay at the grocery store. If you love Boursin, then you and your guests are going to love this recipe for herbed cheese spread. Ingredients

  • 8 oz whipped butter
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor and then transfer to a bowl
  2. Place in refrigerator and let sit for at least two hours

New Year’s Eve Party Games

A lot of times when we have a party at our house, we have a few different groups of friends that all come together.  Sometimes there are people there who don’t know each other. A great way to get people introduced is by playing games. It’s an easy way to break the ice and make people feel more comfortable. If you are going to be playing a few games at your New Year’s Eve party this year then here a few great options. Guess the resolution Here is a great game to see how much you really know about your friends. Everyone should write down what their New Year’s resolution is going to be. You then go around and read them to the group and people need to decide who it was that came up with each. Charades A game that is always a hit is Charades. You could come up with words that are related to New Year’s Eve or go with a more general theme. Charades always lead to a lot of laughs and is a guaranteed winner at any party. Two truths and a lie To get started with this game each guest will need to sit or stand in a circle and think up two truths and a lie about themselves.  You will then go around the circle and everyone will try to guess which of the three statements is the lie.  This is great way to see how much people really know about you.

Final thought

New Year’s is such a fun time of the year because you get to spend time with your friends and family while you eat amazing food and have a few laughs. If it’s your turn to host the New Year’s Eve party, then it’s easy to cut out not only the stress, but also the huge expense.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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