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Hosting a Leftover New Year’s Eve Party! Simple Décor and Menu Ideas

Updated: Apr 22

Left Over New Year’s Eve (this is a GREAT party to host with children and families): 1. I could give ideas for a standard New Year’s Eve party but let me tell you a tradition we had for many years. When my husband and I were young parents, the conversation of what we would do for New Year’s Eve was always a source of difficulty. Restaurants had expensive set menus, the food was not what we wanted, and we always struggled to find a babysitter. Never one to let an obstacle get in our way of fun, we created an annual Leftover New Year’s Eve party everyone could enjoy. I was exhausted from entertaining by the time December 31 rolled around, but I did not mind opening our home one last time for the year if my guests could help carry the load.

2. Friends and their children (of any age) were invited. Guests were encouraged to arrive in their pajamas. This made for a fun atmosphere, and it was practical because most parents could easily put their children to bed in a spare room.

3. Every guest brought a dish. To ensure I had everything covered, on the invitation I asked for a specific item. “Please Bring: A Meat.” “Please Bring: A Dessert.” I let each person choose what they wished to provide, but by assigning a category I knew I had the necessities covered. Staying true to the theme, I encouraged everyone to bring leftovers from the holidays. Our table was filled with half eaten Tupperware meals scattered throughout. We supplied the drinks.

4. The centerpiece was provided each year by my mother. Her birthday is NYE, so this was always a fun party for her. Her contribution was our centerpiece. She would save the turkey carcass from our Christmas dinner, then embellish it with olives and sprigs of herbs. It was so tacky it was beautiful!

5. The goal of this party was to rid ourselves of everything “left over” from the year. With a young son in the house, I had odd numbers of paper products from every event that had taken place the last 12 months. I pulled out everything I had: Valentine’s Day paper plates from school parties; Birthday napkins; Halloween paper cups. No linens or breakable plates are used at the Leftover New Year’s Eve bash. Everything should be disposable. By setting all these assorted items around the table, this adds to your decorations. There really is not much more you need to do.

6. Party Favors: I had noise makers that we handed out to ring in the New Year, and these served as party favors. Our Leftover New Year’s Eve parties may have been a little trashy, but they always ranked as the best party of the year!

Spotify Playlist for Leftover New Year's Eve Party.

Menu Ideas:

All recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Leftover New Year’s Eve Menu:

Reminder: This menu is small, because the point of the party is for guests to provide the food. I always made sure I had two main dishes and two desserts, but that was it! This is supposed to be an easy event to host.

1. Main Dishes

2. Dessert

3. Wine

  • Merlot

  • White Burgundy

  • Moscato

4. Other Drinks

  • Sparkling Water

  • Cider

  • Coffee

  • Champaign for toasting

December Leftover New Years
Download PDF • 1.77MB


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