Stay In, Ring In New Year's

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Stay In, Ring In New Year's
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Who doesn't love celebrating New Year's with friends and family? The food, the fun, the countdown -- they all add up to one great party. However, sometimes we just don't feel like hitting the town on New Year's Eve. So why not throw a top-notch bash at home? Tony Conway, CEO of A Legendary Event in Atlanta, gathered his top 10 tips for creating a fabulous New Year's Eve celebration right at home. Ring in the New Year in style with his suggestions for decor, food and fun.

Opt in for Opulence
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Opt in for Opulence

Just because you are celebrating at home doesn't mean you can't do it in style. Aim for elegance and luxury. "Enhance your decor with silver, glitter and bright colors with table linens, china, serving pieces and glasses," Conway said. "This is the opportunity to use those special items that you have been saving for that special occasion." This includes your best silver, crystal and china as well as those unique candleholders.

Mix It Up at the Bar
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Mix It Up at the Bar

Ringing in the New Year with a glass of bubbly is standard at most parties but this year, take it a step further. Conway recommends setting out large buckets filled with ice to chill your favorite champagne or sparkling wine. Also arrange a selection of fruit juices, fruit garnishes, sugar cubes, rock candy and bitters so guests can create their own cocktail. "Use a sparkling silver or gold frame with elegantly printed recipe suggestions to guide guests to create memorable cocktails," he said.

Keep It Appetizing
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Keep It Appetizing

Guests love to mingle and chat during New Year's Eve parties, so don't tie them down with heavy food dishes. Instead, opt for bite-sized hors d'oeuvres they can nosh on as they move about the room. "Caviar, shrimp cocktails and cute pigs-in-a-blanket offer an elegant and special touch to the meal," Conway said. "Toast the new year with little toast points to pair with great cheeses, spreads and dips." Don't forget some late-night snacks, including mini hamburgers and breakfast omelets.

How Sweet It Is
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How Sweet It Is

No party is complete without a little sweet treat. Make yours stand out with a dessert and candy bar so guests can choose their favorites. Fill crystal bowls and jars with a variety of time-honored favorites. "Consider brightly colored goodies for pops of color and nostalgia candy to reminisce years past," Conway said. He also recommends decorating cupcakes and other baked goods with the new year.

Strike a Pose
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Strike a Pose

Help your guests commemorate the last night of the year with a photo booth. You can either rent a booth or set out disposable cameras. "Have a trunk full of accessories such as bow ties, top hats, feather boas, glittered masquerade masks and opera gloves so guests can dress up and play with their New Year attire," Conway said. Arrange to have your guests' photos compiled into a flip book or slip them into a special picture frame as a take-home memento.

Highlight Father Time
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Highlight Father Time

Since everyone will be watching the clock, use this opportunity to use the keepers of time as a unique centerpiece. "Gather clocks from all over the house and arrange them in the center of your tables as a whimsical touch to traditional tablescape," Conway said. Take it a step further to really ring in the new year. "Retro twin bell alarm clocks set up in advance to ring [at midnight] are a great way to make some noise for the new year," he added.

Keep the Kids on Board
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Keep the Kids on Board

If you are celebrating with the family, don't forget to plan something special for the kids. For many, this is a challenge, given the children will be staying up well past their bedtime. Conway recommends having games and activities set up for each hour of the evening. "Have them 'pin the face on the clock' or decorate a lucky horseshoe with their new year's resolutions," he suggested.

Bring Out the Balloons
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Bring Out the Balloons

Streamers and balloons are a hallmark of every New Year's Eve party, so incorporate these essentials into your event with a balloon drop at midnight. "Have balloons in bright multiple colors or shimmering silver and gold to mark the new year," Conway said. Bag the balloons and arrange for someone to drop them from an upper balcony when the clock strikes 12. No balcony? Attach bags to the ceiling with a drawstring you can pull open at midnight.

Celebrate With Culture
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Celebrate With Culture

Give your New Year's Eve party an interesting twist by including customs from other cultures around the world. For instance, Conway said, Argentinians celebrate the new year by eating 12 grapes at midnight for good luck throughout the coming year. In China, party hosts give out favors in bright red envelopes that represent prosperity and luck. "Celebrate this traditional custom by using red envelopes or boxes for guests to take home their candy treats," he said.

Capture a Moment in Time
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Capture a Moment in Time

With every New Year's Eve party comes New Year's resolutions. But don't let them fade away with the confetti and streamers after the party ends. Instead, create your own time capsule of resolutions. "Have guests write down their New Year's resolutions and place them into a sealed box or suitcase," Conway suggested. Save and open the container at next year's New Year's Eve party. "Guests will enjoy reminiscing on years past and anticipating the exciting year ahead," Conway added.

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