Setting the Stage
Clear away the clutter of December holidays by presenting a fresh, bright palette to your guests.
Set the table with a white table cloth and napkins.
Use white dishes and your best crystal.
Accent the table in either silver or gold to create a festive mood. Use charger plates and napkin rings in your selected accent color.
Play up the passage of time by scattering numbers confetti, in either silver or gold, around the table.
Use white roses in either one dramatic floral arrangement, or smaller ones at the place setting of each guest.
If you have small, antique clocks, add them to your tablescape.
Let your party favors double as placecards. Wrap small, day-at-a-glance calendars (available inexpensively at year-end) in white paper. Tie these packages with silver or gold ribbon. Add a small bell (for ringing in the New Year) to the ribbon. Write your guests' names on the packages in a coordinating metallic pen.
Give each guest a nice sheet of stationery, an envelope and a pen. Tell them to write their hopes and resolutions for the New Year in a letter, place it in the envelope, seal it, and address it to themselves. Promise to mail the letters at the midpoint of the year so they can make any mid-course corrections at that point.
I always believe that the food served at a New Year's Eve party should be as luxurious as you can make it. After all, New Year's Eve with its many opportunities and hopes, only rolls around once a year. Why not make a good start of it?
Champagne Cocktail - Ring in the New Year with this festive champagne cocktail.
Baked Brie with Curried Chutney - This elegant appetizer can be prepared in advance and baked before your guests arrive.
Greek Style Boiled Shrimp with Oil and Lemon Sauce - These shrimp will be addictive.
Lobster Tails with Citrus Butter - Lobster always makes me feel like it's a special occasion, but this recipe is easy enough for everyday.
Couscous Pilaf - Serve a simple grain to accompany the richness of the lobster.
Green Beans Amandine - This is a classic recipe that always feels special.
Almond Tart - This is a dessert befitting a special occasion.