There is so much to look forward to on New Year’s Eve as you herald in new opportunities with friends and family and share stories from 2015. Before the ball drops and you join in on the countdown, here are a few ideas to tap into the merriment.
Learn the words to Auld Lang Syne. Even though we’ve heard the song for years and hum along at every New Year’s celebration, few people know the song in its entirety. Before belting out the seven words you know, create some friendly competition by challenging your guests to recite the song from memory and have printouts for those who might need a little assistance. If you know someone who plays the piano, even better! Their musical talents will surely add a nice touch to the festivities.
Dial down the bubbly before raising your glass. Although a glass or two of liquid courage may make you feel more at ease in front of a crowd, the added confidence may only be in your head. If you are the host, write out your speech and practice in front of a mirror. Note what others will observe when you are dazzling them with your words. After all, it is one of the duties of the host to honor their guests with a friendly toast.
Timing matters. A well-planned toast is the key to a successful delivery. When toasting at dinner, the host will stand and welcome their guests after everyone has been seated. A New Year’s party toast should be conveyed before the clock strikes twelve. People will be distracted at the countdown, and the warm sentiment may be lost among revelry, bells and whistles. In either circumstance, keep your words short and sweet – no longer than 60 seconds tops.
Keep your toast thoughtful. Rather than going for gags and giggles, focus your attention on the New Year’s Eve theme. For example, share a 2016 hope: “I am looking forward to strengthening old friendships and forging new relationships with everyone in this room.” Or, depending on the number of guests, and the venue of the party, go around the room and ask what one thing each person plans to achieve in the next twelve months. You will be surprised how saying it out loud makes it happen. Start the ball rolling and don’t be shy – think big!
To clink or not to clink? Despite popular belief, once the host is finished with their toast, you are not obligated to clink glasses with your neighbors. Instead, simply raise your glass to the center of the table and take a sip. As a courtesy, be sure to return the gesture if someone happens to extend their glass towards your crystal flute.
Offer a light breakfast buffet. Complement the evening’s celebration with a morning spread, to include fruit, yogurt, pastries and most importantly, a strong pot of Joe. Provide guests with options that are easy to grab or eat with their fingers. Arrange tables to create a natural flow, so guests can easily browse the selections, choose their items and make their way through the line. Have plenty of water and juice available as well. Serving non-alcoholic beverages along with the standard Mimosa will be a welcome treat for many guests.
Cheers to you in 2016!