How to Throw a Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Party

Robbie and I never get invited to New Year’s Eve parties, despite Robbie’s sparkling personality and my impeccable personal hygiene. So we usually plan on sitting around on our bums by ourselves watching whatever crap movie we can find on Netflix Watch It Now and eating leftover Christmas junk food. But it just so happened that this year, we had reason to put together a last-minute shindig for some family and friends. This was decided… oh, about 48 hours before the event.

I, not being one to panic… Ok, that’s a lie. I usually panic. And I sort of did. I’ve never hosted a NYE party before, as far as I can recall. But I decided that I would make it as easy as possible on myself, especially since I’m planning to be gone most of the day before the party actually starts. So, here’s the plan.


I originally had visions of little white twinkle lights and crepe paper streamers and party hats and confetti. You know what all that requires? Work and shopping, neither of which I had time for. So plan B was inspired by the movie Elf, wherein Buddy the Elf decorates wherever he goes with paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling or the bedpost or whatever he can find to hang them on. Sonja the Elf managed something similar.

Snowflakes hanging from different spots around the house. Hey, it's better than nothing.


Having an Xbox Kinect makes this one lots easier. I moved a couch and coffee table out of the way to give lots of play room and audience room. For the less adventurous, I hauled out a bunch of board games. Bonus? The board games look pretty good as a table centerpiece.

The Xbox Kinect even looks festive, since it's next to the fireplace, decorated with Christmas cards, candles, and-- of course-- snowflakes.

Board games: They also work as a centerpiece.


Being away from the house all day prior to the party made this one a little difficult. Enter Twitter follower, coworker, and all-around good guy Mike Adams, who hooked me up with his crockpot mac & cheese recipe.

1 lb noodles, 1 lb moz cheese, 1 lb sharp cheese, 1 cup evap milk, 1 egg, 2 sticks butter, 1 cup milk
2 1/2 hours on low cook, mix up then 1/2 on high… serve…

Perhaps not the healthiest thing one could eat, but it sounds pretty damn good!

The crockpot stands at the ready.

For sweets, I have a ton of Christmas treats still around. My mom always bakes delicious Christmas goodies, so I’ll share those, and I’ve got a few other things around, too. I plan to set them all out on a giant tray for easy access.

Piles of sweet treats


Knowing Robbie and me, drinks were the easiest to come up with. For some added fun, I wrote out some champagne cocktail recipes and hung them next to the drink bar. In lieu of those little wine stem charms that tell people whose glass is whose, which I don’t have, I instead used leftover colorful Christmas curly ribbon. Tada! The risk of spreading oral cooties among your guests is eliminated.


For the non-drinkers in the group, I got some sparkling cider and soda. There’s also a hot drink bar, thanks to Robbie’s fancy shmancy one-cup-at-a-time coffee maker thingie.

Hot drinks and moose mugs

And there you have it! I did all of this (grocery shopping, decorating, rearranging, precooking, etc.) in about 4 hours last night. So if you’re in a pinch and have to plan a last-minute NYE party, you still have time.

Happy New Year everyone!