How to Plan a Cozy New Year's Eve Party

For this New Year's party, would you rather have a smaller, low-key gathering? Starting the New Year with friends and family instead of a room full of strangers can be the best way to go.

A Sleepover for Grown-Ups
All good New Year's Eve plans start by figuring out how guests will get home. Since your group is small, simply invite everyone to stay over. Ask guests to bring along pajamas, a pillow, a sleeping bag and at least one brunch dish so you can have a New Year's Day morning meal.

New Year's Eve Sleepover Activities
Sharing Resolutions: Before the New Year's Eve countdown, go around the room and read the resolutions you made last year. Then mention whether or not you stuck to that resolution. Afterward, ask each guest to write down resolutions for this year, and let guests place bets as to whether or not the resolution will stick.

Movie Night: This theme is ideal for cinema-philes. Consider asking each guest to suggest her favorite movies from last year, and pick them up from the local video store, or have the guests bring their own copies if the movies have been released on DVD. Pop plenty of popcorn, lay out plenty of pillows so everyone can sit comfortably and be sure to leave time between each movie so guests can refresh their drinks and fill up on snacks.

Cooking Together: After enjoying your New Year's Eve meal, why not prepare and decorate dessert as a group? Bake batches of plain cupcakes, and set up containers of icing, sprinkles and toppers so each guest can create her own distinctive New Year's Eve cupcake.

Makeovers: For all-female groups, a makeover will give your beauty routine a fresh start for the New Year. Ask each guest to bring along her makeup bag, and test-drive new beauty tricks so you can get your friends' feedback. And, of course, bring the nail polish so you can give each other manis and pedis.

With a small group, you can be more flexible, and you don't have to worry as much about entertaining guests through the night. A few relaxed activities will be plenty of fun for close friends.

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