Friday, December 28, 2012

How to Plan a Last-Minute New Years Party

Planning a bash theyll never forget doesnt have to sap all your free time and energy. In fact, you can do it in the time it would take you to watch four episodes of Downton Abbey. Here, a few of our best ideas for throwing together a day-of shindig.

Four Hours to Go
Worry less about creating actual dcor and more about setting a festive mood. Craft a few eye-catching streamers out of metallic paper, a circle cutter, and metal jump rings, and then focus on ambiance. A table of star-punched hurricanes made out of paper will add a romantic warmth to the room. (Perfect to set the scene for a midnight kiss or two.)

Aside from that, count on your lovely friends to decorate the space. (Still worried the room looks too bare? If all else fails, fill it with white and silver balloons for instant festivity.)

Three Hours to Go
Start prepping your food on pretty white trays or plates. But remember: Keep it simple! Crudites with a slab of blue cheese, Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta, Prosciutto-Basil Crostini, and even a Shrimp Cocktail are all perfect, only-takes-a-few-minutes choices.

Once everything is plated, cover each platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate until its time to serve.

Two Hours to Go
Get ready! Eschew basic black for a dress in a fun, bold color. And who cares if its something youve owned forever? Throw on a statement brooch necklace,a studded cuff, or a pair of sparkly earrings and youve got a whole new, party-ready outfit.

One Hour to Go
Nows the time to mix up a pitcher of your signature cocktail. Stick with a simple recipe, like this two-ingredient Blood Orange Champagne mixture.

Or, go even less fussy and simply pop a bottle of champagne (learn how to do it here) and add a skewer of frozen grapes to each flute for some fanciness.

Dont forget to put on some music its party time.

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