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Barefoot Contessa

Ringing in the New Year Diva Style

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I hope you’re enjoying the holidays – I simply love this time of year – it’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Now that Christmas is over there are still last minute things you must do to prepare for New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re still entertaining your extended family or plan to host friends, New Years tends to be a bit more glam than Christmas, which is usually family-oriented. And even if you’re planning to be a guest at someone else’s party this year, I’ve got a few tips on how to make this New Year’s Eve the best ever!

New Year’s Eve Party Preparation, Decorating with Style, Holiday Themes, Barefoot Contessa

I love New Year’s Eve because I love all things that come along with it. Everyone gets to dress up and put on a glamorous outfit along with glitzy jewelry and a pair of killer shoes. Typically there’s a fun and exciting atmosphere that people bring with them to New Year’s parties and there are certainly tried and true ways to set the stage for this atmosphere.

New Year’s Eve Party Preparation, Decorating with Style, Holiday Themes, Barefoot Contessa

First things first- everyone knows that Champagne is a must for ringing in the New Year. However, with this holiday being pretty much back-to-back with Christmas, money may be a bit tight. Don’t fret! Sparkling wines, Cava and Prosecco are wonderful substitutes for Champagne and cost less. Of course, being The Antiques Diva, I like to have antique & vintage Champagne buckets at the ready to serve the bubbly. If you’re going to be a guest at someone else’s home this year, why not take a vintage champagne bucket along with a bottle of Prosecco as a hostess gift? It’s a lovely gesture that’s also affordable. And your friend will be able to keep the champagne bucket long after the party is over!

art_deco_champagne_bucket

If you’re hosting a party, keep it easy on yourself! No one likes a stressed out hostess. I love The Barefoot Contessa’s cookbooks for finding a good recipes – however I’m a firm believer that having a host of pre-made snacks is the recipe for hosting a stress-free party.  You can never go wrong with cheese and baguette and some pate.  Olives are a MUST but pretzels, wasabi nuts and pistachios are also perennial favorites.  Ready-made mini quiches only require you to heat and serve. When hosting a party think about where you want to invest your energies and use a combination of home-made, partially-home-made and ready-made.

Also keep in mind that guests will be mingling, often holding a drink in one hand so be sure that most hors d’oeuvres are mini and can be held and eaten with one hand. Serve them in individual size serving dishes!

The truth is, presentation is key at any party. Instead of focusing on difficult and complicated recipes, focus on HOW you serve ready-made nibbles. When it comes to serving these little delights, use antique silver trays, wood cutting boards and other beautiful serving pieces to make the evening feel special.

New Year’s Eve Party Preparation, Decorating with Style, Holiday Themes, Barefoot Contessa

Of course there are three elements that can really make a party feel special and set the tone for the entire night. These are flowers, candles and music! If your budget allows, have a florist create arrangements and deliver them right to your door. But if you want to do it yourself (as I often do), grab a few interesting containers—think crystal bowls, antique trophy cups, silver urns— and fill them with the same flower. Clustering of 3 Euro roses look fabulous when presented in the right way.  It’s easy, effortless and oh so elegant.

New Year’s Eve Party Preparation, Decorating with Style, Holiday Themes, Barefoot Contessa

Sprinkle candles throughout your space and dim the lights a bit for some added drama.

And of course, create a custom playlist ahead of time so that the background sound never stops and keeps the party flowing.

However you choose to celebrate the New Year, do so with style!

Cheers to a prosperous and happy New Year and I look forward to bringing you all more antiques and inspiration in the coming year!

The Antiques Diva® 

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