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Would You’d like to throw an evening party for your circle of friends, but hesitate because of the expense? After all, Christmas just cost you a bundle with presents, food and maybe travel expenses thrown into the mix, Ask Granny has some solutions.

Here’s some good news: You can plan a terrific party that will spread the responsibility  and everyone will enjoy the festivities. Here’s how:

Champagne cocktails

Everyone enjoys a drop of champagne at New Year’s, it’s festive, versatile and tasty. But it can get expensive if you serve it straight all night long. Here’s the plan. Have each couple or individual bring a bottle or two of champagne, then you provide the other items to make two or three champagne cocktails. Save a few bottles for the toasts at midnight and you’ll have a nice selection of drinks without the expense falling completely on your shoulders.

Here are several sites to help you select the champagne cocktails just right for your group:

Champagne Drinks Recipes

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails

Fifty Best Champagne Cocktails


Again, ask your guests to bring, along with that bottle or two of champagne, an appetizer. Give them a choice of the following:

  • A garden dish such as a fruit or vegetable tray
  • A starch item such as mini-sandwiches, pizza bites, bruschetta, crackers and cheese
  • A protein dish such as cold cuts, cheese ball with crackers, devilled eggs or the like
  • Snack items such as nuts, chips, pretzels, popcorn or other savory treats
  • A dessert item such as bite-sized pieces of cake, bars, cookies, tarts, meringues, candies


Save the money some spend on lots of New Year’s decorations. Just extend your Christmas décor. Everyone loves a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and the candles, lights, greens and other holiday decorations you place around your home. Spring for a few items such as noisemakers, hats or blowouts to use at midnight.

Make a plan

Be sure you have a plan in place to make the evening flow. You may want to begin the party later in the evening, perhaps 9 o’clock or later. Set up the drinks or assign the bartender, as you want the champagne to be mixed into cocktails and not used up too early. Some recipes will lend themselves to punch bowls. Plan for some music, either as background or as dance music. Be ready to greet your guests and have a table set up for the bar and a separate area for the food.

Know what you want to happen at midnight—whether you’ll watch something on television to welcome in the new year or just stop and propose a toast to everyone.

Though it may be more work at the end of the evening, it’s a lot cheaper to use your own dishes and glasses than to buy paper products for the event. If you don’t have enough of them, be bold, and mix and match.

New Year’s Eve is one of the most enjoyable party times of the year. You’re finished with the holiday events that have stretched from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

It’s time to relax and just enjoy being with your favourite people.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Best wishes

Ask Granny