How to Plan a Last-Minute New Year’s Party


Planning a bash they’ll never forget doesn’t 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 décor 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 it’s time to serve.

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

One Hour to Go
Now’s 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.

Don’t forget to put on some music – it’s party time.

Comments (2)

  • Love the ideas here!

  • Dear Martha.. First wanted to say I love you.. Second, I have started collecting all sorts of beads and don’t know what to do with them.. I don’t want to make jewelry, but some unique.

    Any ideas?

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