New Year’s Day Party Checklist

New Year’s Eve gets all the hype, but New Year's Day gives you the opportunity to throw a fun, low-key party focused on good company and good food. It’s less dressy than NYE and everyone is so done with glitter and noisemakers by now. This is the real start to the new year. Encourage guests to keep it chill, watch some movies, and start breaking a few resolutions. Feeling inspired? Check out our New Year's party checklist.

Have a Plan

Create a guest list and decide how to invite people: Make a Facebook event, use an online invitation service, or email your invitations. Decide how much you can spend on this party and craft your menu, taking time to consider how many people are coming and what kind of vibe you want your event to have.

1. Beverages


Mimosas are a winner if your party starts in the morning. Mix up the fun by offering a selection of juices: cranberry, orange, grapefruit, and more. Create a coffee station with cream, Reddi-wip® Barista, sugar, honey, cinnamon, and flavorings. Create a specialty drink, like Peppermint Chocolate Eggnog—the recipe is simple, and because it uses Swiss Miss® Dark Chocolate Sensation, you'll have that on hand if somebody just wants a cup of cocoa.

2. Snacks


You need a dip, and nothing beats RO*TEL® Famous Queso Dip. With only two ingredients (Velveeta® and RO*TEL Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies), you can whip this up in minutes. Put it in several dishes scattered throughout your party space to avoid a traffic jam around the queso! Pretzel Party Mix is another great snack that can be prepared a day or two in advance. And it’s a good idea to fill out your snack table with some ready-to-serve items like Crunch 'n Munch® and Blueberry Oat Muffin Tops.

3. Main Dishes and Sides


It shows solid hosting skills to have something sweet and something savory. Go with Mongolian BBQ Glazed Meatballs: They’re small enough so your guests feel like they can try them along with everything else, yet hearty enough that someone could make them a full meal if they wanted to! Ham, Broccoli and Cheddar Egg Muffins are an easy way to serve eggs to a large group of people, and you could slice them in half and place them between an Udi’s® whole grain bagel.

4. Desserts


No need for extra baking! Serve up a Marie Callender's® pie—or two or three pies, because who can decide on just one flavor? Or if you do have the bandwidth for a little more kitchen work, these Hot Chocolate Truffles are a quick and clever dessert.

Give Yourself Time

As far ahead of New Year’s Day as you can, make your grocery list and start your online shopping. Don’t forget plates, cups, and utensils if you have a large group coming. Buy decorations and start planning the layout of your party space. Decide on any games or activities. Follow up with guests once your invitations have had a chance to circulate—try to verify who’s coming, tell them what to bring (if anything), and provide tips on where to park.

The Days Before the Party

Get your groceries delivered, including vegetables and other perishable items. Start the food prep! Make any dishes that can be frozen or safely stored in airtight containers. Clean, decorate, and designate a spot for shoes, purses, coats, and other belongings. If you’re planning for music, movies, or interactive gaming, make sure the areas are prepped and the tech is ready. The day before the party, you can do more immediate food preparation (like chopping vegetables) and set out serving dishes, plates, and silverware.

The Day of the Party

Make sure the majority of your food prep is done by the time guests arrive. You want to be able to simply pull things in and out of the oven or refrigerator while everyone is there. Wash any prep dishes you used and put them away. Knock out those last-minute cleaning tasks. Now everything is ready! It’s going to be a great New Year’s Day party.

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