Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Planning a Stress Free New Years Party

While there is always some stress involved in planning any event, there are a number of steps you can take in reducing the amount of stress involved while you are planning your New Years Eve party.

There may still be a few areas which cause concern or stress but if you follow these tips, the event will likely be more enjoyable for you and the guests.

Consider making the dress for the event casual instead of formal to create a more stress free environment.

This simple step can be very effective for reducing the stress level.
First of all, if the affair is casual, the host will have to spend less time getting dressed for the party. This frees you up to deal with the last minute details not the formal attire.

It also helps to reduce the stress level because guests expect more elegant food for a formal party than they do for a casual party so there is less stress to prepare and serve an elaborate meal at the party.

Regardless of the type of food you decide to serve, preparing the food for a New Years Eve party can be a significant cause of stress.

Hiring a caterer is the most efficient way to minimize this stress. But this is not always an option. So stick to simple foods that can be made in advance. Or pick up party trays from the local grocery store.
Or one fun way to do food is to make the party a potluck event.

Having guests bring dishes such as side dishes, salads, appetizers, desserts and even main dishes or drinks greatly reduces the amount of work for the host.

In this scenario the host only has to worry about providing one or two items and coordinating the other guests to ensure they do not all bring similar items.

Another option is what I call the buffet bar. Set up a pasta bar with a few different pastas and a few sauces serve a salad and garlic bread and guest are happy. Or a taco bar with taco shells meat and fillings so guest can build their own. Both require minimal cooking and go a long way.

Another inexpensive option which can help to reduce the amount of stress typically associated with preparing the food for a New Years Eve party is to serve only appetizers, desserts and cocktails at the party.

This is significantly less expensive as appetizers are traditionally much less expensive than main course items.

It is also acceptable to do this because most New Years Eve parties do not start until 8:00-9:00 at night.

It is acceptable to assume most guests will have had dinner earlier in the evening but as a courtesy to the guests it is worthwhile to indicate on the invitations that only appetizers and desserts will be served.

Keep the guest list down, and know your guests. Limiting the number of people at the event will keep cost down and you won't have as much to plan for. Also know your guest. If they have children let them know in advance if this is a party for kids to attend or not. If children are welcome plan some things for them. Like movies and popcorn in a separate room. Be sure to have some sparkling grape or apple juice and plastic champagne flutes so they can toast in the new year as well. And provide lots of pillows and blankets for those that might fall asleep before the end of the party. In fact tell parents to bring the kids in the PJ's and slippers.

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