Ring in the new year with friends and plenty of fun by making sure you have all the right props and party gifts for your New Year’s Eve party.

When you attend a New Year’s Eve bash, you’re ready for fun and looking forward. We’ve got a few ideas for items to bring to make the party you attend the best it can be for you, your host or hostess, and fellow revelers.

Dress the part. Be sure to find out whether your hosts want partygoers to dress casually or come in more formal attire. This can guide not only your dress, but whether you choose to add the lighted LED hat you got in your Christmas stocking or go for a more tasteful glitter headband.

Even if it’s casual, add some bling. Who says you can’t dress up your denim outfit? A sequined sleeveless top under a casual, pearl or black jacket and some heels dress up your jeans. Put your hair up. Add your favorite “I feel pretty” jewelry to start off the new year with a sparkle. Men can add a tie, handkerchief, vest, gold watch or a touch of bling.

Offer to help. Depending on how well you know your hosts, you can certainly offer to bring an activity or dish, but don’t be pushy. Your hosts might already have the full party planned. If they’re open, run any ideas by them first and be sure to get a head count. You might bring noisemakers, printables to help attendees get to know each other and reflect on the year past (lessons learned, best memories, etc.) or offer a few activities that look forward to the year ahead.

On NYE, everybody loves the bartender. Contribute some fun and creative beverages, especially if the hosts have encouraged partygoers to bring their own, to liven up the party. Add red currant puree to traditional champagne for a bright red cocktail. Or top a classic cosmopolitan with champagne. Add your favorite drink from recent travels. Nobody says you have to be on the beach to enjoy a pina colada. It’s New Years – why not make a resolution to get to the Caribbean in 2015?

Propose a toast. Be sure to thank your hosts, and prepare a funny and uplifting statement about the past and upcoming years. Of course, if attendees all have something in common, such as being co-workers, or family relations, you can personalize your toast.

Bring flowers or balloons. Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a big balloon bouquet. The hosts’ kids can enjoy them the next day. And setting off a balloon with a handwritten wish for the new year might be a fun activity. Or simply bring your hosts a new plant for the year or a nice floral arrangement to add to one of their drink or food tables.

Choose the perfect host and hostess gift. You probably can’t go wrong with a cocktail mix to add to their bar or a tasteful set of coasters. For the morning after, your host and hostess will likely be tired and a little hung over. How about a homemade breakfast loaf or muffins they only have to warm and some gourmet coffee grounds in a basket? Or maybe a fresh baguette and some jam? 

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