How To Have A Low-Key New Year’s Eve Party That Doesn’t Suck

Call me a Grinch, but I’ve never really celebrated New Year’s Eve. It’s freezing cold, it’s all about drinking (which means other people barfing and fighting), it involves staying up until the wee hours of the morning, and sometimes your crazy-ass friends expect you to shell out $250 for some stupid club. No thanks! I usually stay home on New Year’s Eve or briefly attend whatever party is closest to my place.  

I suspect I’m not the only homebody out there, though, because now is the time of year when I hear people bitching about how ritzy New Year’s Eve plans (usually planned by someone else!) are making them go broke. In the spirit of not starting off 2012 with credit card debt, here’s some tips on how to plan your own low-key New Year’s Eve party that doesn’t suck:

  • Set up a strict dress code: insist all your guests come in warm and comfy clothes!
  • Plan a movie night based around a theme, like Woody Allen films or “Star Wars” flicks. 
  • Host a potluck dinner, a potluck dessert, or break out the fondue pot. 
  • Play boardgames! If you can set up different board games in different rooms, all the better.  
  • If there’s drinking involved (and there probably will be), have a guest play unofficial security guard to remove unruly or unwanted guests. 
  • If your party is all-ladies, ask everyone to bring gently used clothes/accessories and hold an informal clothing swap.
  • Use plastic champagne flutes and paper plates for minimal morning-after cleanup.
  • Ask everyone to bring their own playlist and swap-out the iPods all night long.
  • Party hats for all! Yes, even when playing the aforementioned Twister.

Anything I missed? Let us know in the comments.

Contact the author of this post at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.