By contributing writer Laura
Are you looking to ring in the new year without breaking the bank? There are plenty of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve without forking over money on expensive events, concerts, or dinners out. Here are some creative ideas for frugal New Year’s celebrations.
Make New Year’s Eve a time of reflection on all that you have to be grateful for. Set a time when all your family members sit down to share the blessings and memorable events from the past year. Bring out a large jar and designate it as your New Year’s “Blessings Jar.” Ask each family member to write down blessings on scrap pieces of paper throughout this new year and add to the jar. The goal is to collect all those notes so that next New Year’s Eve you can empty the jar and read out loud all the blessings from that year.
Host an “Around The World” Potluck
Get creative and host a small dinner party for a few of your closest family or friends with an “around the world” theme. Have each person bring a dish that represents a new year’s tradition from another culture or from their own family heritage. Some different traditional new year’s dishes from around the globe include:
- Southern US: Black-eyed peas and pork
- The Netherlands: Donut or ring-shaped treat
- Spain: 12 Grapes
- India: Rice
- Mexico: Tamales
- Japan: Soba Noodles
For even more new years food traditions, check out the article 10 Global New Year’s Eats to get your culinary juices flowing.
Coordinate a Neighborhood Progressive Party
Progressives are one of my favorite types of parties because they alleviate the burden of one host(ess) doing all the cooking, and they liven up the atmosphere by having guests move from location to location! If you like to spend time and socialize with your neighbors, coordinate a neighborhood progressive party. Have each participating neighbor host one course before moving on to the next house.
The first home can serve appetizers, the next, salad, followed by the main course at the next house, and so on. If you really want to get creative, assign a different theme to each neighbor in addition to the type of food served. A “pop culture” themed progressive might be fun; each house would be decorated representing pop culture trends like movies, shows, and games for the year. For example, one house could have a Minecraft theme, another have Duck Dynasty theme, etc.
Pinterest Inspired New Year’s Party
Make sure your New Year is (p)inspiring and plan a fun, yet low-key gathering at your house with fellow craft enthusiasts. You can plan fun DIY projects or recipes you found on Pinterest, and plan out what you want to tackle each month in the new year.
Plus you can create a new Pinterest board for 2014 New Year’s resolutions and pin all the projects and items you want to accomplish along with inspirational quotes. You can even start one or more crafts or recipes together on New Year’s Eve. This is a fun and inexpensive way to ring in the new year with friends who have been meaning to get together to work on crafts, planning, or cooking, but just haven’t had the time.
Celebrate at Noon with Your Kids
Having a daytime party New Year’s Eve can be a fun, inexpensive way to celebrate the new year with younger kids, who will hopefully be sleeping when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s morning. Have your countdown begin in the late morning and when the clock strikes 12:00 noon, let your children cheer, blow noise makers, bang a drum, or throw streamers. Celebrate with sparkling apple cider or regular juice in festive cups, and serve a special lunch and dessert.
What fun and frugal plans do you have for this New Year’s Eve? Is there any particular New Year’s celebration in the past that really stands out as a family favorite, and if so, did you celebrate on a budget? Please leave a comment and share!