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New Year's Resolution: Party More in 2010

New Year's Eve at Times Square (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

It's not too late to add a resolution to your list for the New Year.  Plan to make it your number one priority to party more in 2010!  There are many benefits to this particular resolution, including, but not limited to, finding spending more time with your favorite family and friends and the stress relief that comes along with enjoying yourself.

Your parties can be as simple as getting your friends together at a local bar for a few drinks.  Your party can also be an event of epic proportion that your guests will talk about for years to come.  Or it can fall anywhere in between...that it all up to you.  Here are a few ideas to get your year started:

Even if you are sticking to a budget in 2010, you can still celebrate!  Here are two ideas for the cost-effective crowd:

  • Plan a family game night.  You can plan this for the immediate family living in your house, or host extended family and/or friends.  If you don't have many games, encourage your guests to bring their favorites.  If you have many guests, you can play multiple games at once to meet all of your guests interests at one time!  You can serve a minimal menu of chips and sodas, or you can ask your guests to bring an appetizer to share and make it a BYOB party.  Family game night rarely disappoints!  If your tastes tend to lean toward the zany and absurd, check out Quelf for tons of game night fun!
  • Have a potluck.  A good way to stay in touch with your friends is to share a meal with them from time to time.  (A potluck can also be a great way to perk up your personal recipe collection and keep dinner from getting boring at your house.)  The best thing about a potluck is that it is fully recyclable!  You can invite high school friends one week, the parents of your daughter's friends the next week and your book club the week after.  You just need to extend invitations to your guests, letting them know you would like to have them each bring a dish.  Then, have them RSVP with the dish they would like to bring, so you can make sure you won't get too many of the same types of dishes.  You can also have some fun with your potluck by adding a theme, like Mexican night, Vegetarian dishes or even a dessert themed potluck, which you could host a little later than dinner time.

If you like to host regularly and want to plan a stand-out event for your regular guests, or a larger crowd, here are two ideas for a more formal crowd:

  • Host a Martini themed cocktail party.  You can plan this as a casual party with some appetizers and cocktails, or as a chance to break out your "little black dress" for a more upscale affair.  In either case, you'll need to create an easy but exciting menu of appetizers and snacks.  You'll probably want to stick to finger foods that can be spread around your venue rather than congest any one area with a buffet table.  Then plan for a 3 or 4 featured cocktails to serve to your guests.  This list of martinis has lots of inspirations.  You may also want to have other beverage options on hand, including ice water, sodas and coffee.
  • Host an Oscar party.  On Sunday, March 7th, the 82nd Annual Academy Awards will air.  If these awards are of interest to you and your friends, you may want to host a party that night.  It can be a casual, almost like a tailgate, where you can guess the winners for different award categories.  You can have easy snacks and drink options or encourage guests to bring items to share.  Or you can host your own red carpet event (complete with red carpet, of course).  Invite guests to dress for the Oscars, have an upscale appetizer menu and a champagne toast to kick off the awards ceremony.

If you really like to become immersed in your party them and party planning, here are two events that you can really delve into:

  • Celebrate the 2010 Olympics Between February 12th - 28th, the Winter Olympics will be happening in Vancouver, providing lots of opportunities to host Olympic parties.  Some great ideas for these parties include making it a celebration of the international!  Serve foods from different countries, decorate with flags of many nations and, of course, cheer on your favorite athletes.  You can also entertain your guests with games centering around Olympic Trivia.
  • Hold a Mardi Gras fete.  Tuesday, February 16th is Mardi Gras.  This annual celebration is anything but low-key.  So, make the most of your party bey having lots of beads and feathered masks on hand for your guests.  You can serve jambalaya or gumbo, whip up large batches of Hurricanes and play some Zydeco music.  You can also provide your guests with fresh crawdads and a king cake.

The bottom line is that you should definitely find a way to celebrate everything you do and every chance you get.  Resolve to make 2010 the Year of the Party!


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