It's the year-end question repeated at water coolers around the world: What are you doing for New Year's Eve? Sure, you could head to your favorite four-star restaurant or slap on a glittery paper headdress and toot your noisemaker at a club. But if you're looking to ring in the new year in an original, more intimate way, consider the following four New Year's Eve party scenarios. Add a few friends, pop champagne corks and celebrate as the clock strikes midnight.
Warm and Inviting Wintertime Picnic
We're not talking about shivering under a tree in a cute spaghetti-strap cocktail dress and teetering in the grass in impractical shoes. Plan an elegant picnic dinner at home, and you and your lucky guests can literally kick off your heels in a warm, intimate setting.
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- Send an invitation in advance since you'll need a headcount. Request an RSVP and tell guests to wear comfortable clothing.
- Have guests ditch their shoes and socks at the door and give them fluffy chenille socks to wear for the evening and take home as a memento.
- Spread a colorful tablecloth over a rug on the living room or dining room floor. Surround the perimeter with colorful floor pillows. In the center add a tray filled with pillar candles of various heights and a low, tight bouquet of roses or lilies. Cover your pillars with hurricanes or hot-glue candles to your tray to avoid fire hazards.
- Dim overhead lights, turn on lamps and place votives on every available out-of-the-way surface.
- Serve a family-style meal of decadent foods, perhaps starting with a rich soup that can be sipped instead of spooned (think butternut squash or creamy Jerusalem artichoke), followed by an elegant salad (add slivers of persimmon and prosciutto or currants and toasted walnuts) and then lobster accompanied by sliced steak. Don't forget tasty wines and a luscious chocolate cake for dessert.
- Select sultry mood music such as soft jazz or ambient grooves.
- Encourage guests to recline and feast like the ancient Romans.
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