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How to Plan a New Year’s Eve Party

4. Plan the Activities

A party isn’t a party until there’s an activity planned and you’ll want to put some time and thought into how to keep your guests engaged. After all, the last thing you want is an awkward silence and a room full of guests standing around not doing anything.

Party games are a great way to fill time. These can be physical games you purchase at the store, or they can be simple paper-and-pencil games. Charades is an excellent option that requires no accessories.

5. Plan Your Food Carefully

There’s nothing worse than watching the clock tick closer to party time as you continue to rush around the kitchen, knowing you still have hours of baking ahead of you. Don’t do this to yourself. Instead, take the time to sit down with your menu, perhaps a week before the party. Make a list of the things that can be prepared ahead of time and the ones that need to be made the day-of. Then, plan out a schedule for when you’ll make each item.

Don’t opt for recipes that require many expensive ingredients and hours in the kitchen. You’ll overspend, stress yourself out, and miss out on the party because you’re stuck in the kitchen all night. Instead, go for simple, easy and cost-effective dishes. Remember, the main attraction of your party is friends and family and the food is just a bonus.

Tips for the Day of the Party

For a party day that’s as stress-free and fun as possible, keep these ideas in mind:

· Plan for Overnighters: Are any guests coming from far away and spending the night? Blow up air-mattresses and complete similar tasks ahead of time. No one will have the energy to do it after the ball drops.

· Rearrange the Furniture: If a crowd of people is about to invade your house, it might be best to do a little rearranging. Drag out extra chairs, put away anything that’ll only be in the way, and try to clear a wide path through the middle of the room. This way, everyone will have the space to enjoy themselves.

· Designate a Coat Room: It’s December, and everyone is going to come bundled up in coats, boots, and scarves. Before your first guest comes, decide where you’ll be storing these things.

· Direct Traffic: Just because you're having guests over doesn't mean it's okay to clog up the road or your neighbor's driveway with cars. As guests arrive, make sure you direct them to the best places to park.

· Play Some Music: Dead silence can be uncomfortable. Lighten the mood with a pre-selected playlist and let it play softly in the background for a relaxed atmosphere that doesn’t put the pressure on anyone to fill the silence.

· Think About the Dishes For maximum ease and convenience, go for plastic utensils and paper plates. Any real dishes should be loaded into the dishwasher and out of sight, instead of leaving them out to clutter up the counter. If any dishes are particularly messy, soak them in the sink to make for easier cleanup later.

· Keep the Food Warm: If your food is supposed to be served warm, keep it in the oven. Set the oven to about 200 degrees and place your food in there to keep it warm — without burning it — until everyone is ready to eat.

It can be easy to get caught up in the stress of planning and preparing any event. But once the guests arrive, put the hard work behind you and enjoy yourself. With these tips, you’ll easily have a great party to ring in the new year!