A New Holiday Party Idea for your New Year’s Celebration

New Years Day Open House

Start a new tradition for ringing in the New Year with an Open House!

One of the best times of the year to have a party is New Year’s Day. I’m not talking about New Year’s Eve – the one that goes on until well past the stroke of midnight. Although THOSE parties can be lots of fun.  I should know, I’ve hosted them for years, but they’re also a lot of work for the host.

There are so many ways to enjoy New Years. I know a lot of people who like to stay off the roads on New Year’s Eve – and for good reason: traffic, parking, drunks – just to name a few of the typical hassles. And, because of those reasons, many people have started some very lovely family traditions of ringing in the New Year from home.

One friend is a “Tubist.” Yep, he plays tuba for a living. He used to play at Disneyland, and once played for the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. His New Year’s tradition is to serenade his neighborhood with Auld Lang Syne right at midnight. I’ve heard that his neighbors come outside to applaud and cheer when he’s done.

But, what I’m talking about is a party ON New Year’s Day.  Picture a new tradition, an Open House on New Year’s Day. Invite people to come and go when they want. They can get there early for the Rose Parade, or crawl in at the second half of the Rose Bowl game.

The key to the idea is “keep it easy.”  If you’ve ever been out late New Year’s Eve, you know what I mean. You don’t want to have to “seriously entertain” bright and early the next day. But maybe, you’d love to drop by a friend’s home for a quiet(ish) morning(ish) get together.

Serve food that can be out all day so that people can come at different times. For the early arrivals have trays out with your favorite selections from your local deli: bagels, lox, cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced onion, and so on. Make sure that there’s a fresh pot of coffee and juice for those early birds.

And how about some easy finger food and snacks? I keep these near the entertainment center for my guests to munch on during the games.

One of my favorites is this Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix from one of my favorite food websites, Food52. A bowl of these will be on my coffee table this year.

I’ll also have a big pot of hearty Turkey Chili. This is another great recipe from Food52. You can easily cook it up the day before so that all you have to do is put it on the stove (or in your cooker set to the lowest temp).

Set the chili out with all of the toppings – sour cream, chopped red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and salsa (of course). My favorite salsa is Salsa Casera from Herdez, which is great with anything. And don’t forget some cornbread from the market and a simple green salad.

This could be the start of a new tradition at your home: entertaining friends and family on New Year’s Day. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the parade and then all the football games!

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