January 2, 2012

Noon Year's Eve Party

My boys go to bed relatively early, regardless of what day the calendar says it is. Yet it's important to me to celebrate holidays with them. Which means New Year's Eve presents a problem for me. I don't even want to stay up until midnight, and there's no way I'm going to entertain my grumpy, tired children way past their bedtime. So, I came up with Noon Year's Eve. And when I say I came up with it, I mean 6 days until the new year I decided to go all out and throw a party. With a little more planning, some things would have been done differently. I'll explain those as I go along.

The invitations - a confetti cannon. Blog post all about that can be found here.
The decorations:
The New Year's banner at the top of the post. Ideally I'd have modified it so it said Noon Year. But on 6 days (three of which I had to work), it was good enough straight out of the package.

I chose paper lanterns (unlit) to hang above the food area. I used 3M's Command Adhesive and hooks to hang up the lanterns (strung with fishing line). The color scheme was multicolored, is I have two multi-colored ones and a bright green lantern, all from Cost Plus World Market.

I covered my island with a tablecloth cut to fit the odd shape. It kept the countertop clean and kept anyone from noticing the flaws in my laminate counters.

The dining and craft area was pretty simple. Above the table I hung foil spiral stars (3 pack for each color, available at Walmart).

From the light fixture I hung some sparkly balls. These I bought from Cost Plus in an after Christmas clearance sell. If I had to make them I'd get some sequins and foam balls from a craft store and just go at it.
The centerpiece was a cheap flowerpot and flower foam. I stuck after Christmas clearance sparkly things into the foam, and then covered the foam with multi-colored foil-covered candies. Easy peasy.

Crafts: Around the centerpiece above you'll see a collection of picture frame sets. They're little printed frames with markers. I found them in the $1 aisle at my local craft store. I was actually looking for foam frames and foam stickers.
I also had available a large bowl of random plastic beads and some elastic cord for do it yourself kid jewelry.

For party favors I went simple. A multipack of kid's star-shaped sun glasses (15 for $5.99 at my local party supply store) and some glow in the dark bracelets ($1 for 15 at my local craft store).
For the countdown, I also provided an assortment of New Year's party hats. If I'd had more time, I'd have made my own hats that said Noon Years.

Food (sorry for the bad pics):
I found some cute framed chalk boards at Cost Plus World Market. I used these to provide the menu to guests.
Lunch was a nacho bar. I had nacho cheese in one crockpot and chili in another, I also provided chips (I used some red/green Christmas ones, mixed with some yellow and blue tortilla chips), sour cream, jalapenos and salsa. Nachos could be dished up in standard nacho dishes (the red and white kind found at football games. You know the type.) The nacho bowls were easy to get at my local craft store. I provided smaller animal face bowls from Walmart. They were easy to find in the paper goods aisle.
Dessert was a popcorn bar. I used pre-popped popcorn in popcorn boxes (craft store.) I had set out different popcorn flavorings (cheese, caramel, butter, and cinnamon sugar), along with lots of yummy mix-ins (mini Oreos, mixed nuts, mini M&Ms, and gummi bears) The kids loved being able to choose their own mix-ins.
We counted down to Noon, and then had a balloon drop (Instructions here.)The kids had a blast playing with the balloons for at least a half hour.

And that, my readers, is how the Moose household celebrated Noon Year's Eve.
The party was a success, was easy to set up, and even easier to clean up (aside from the 91ish balloon still scattered in my livingroom). We started at 10:30AM and said goodbye to our last guests around 1pm. It was short, sweet, and - most importantly - perfect for getting everyone to bed on time. We'll be doing it again next year - maybe a black and white theme for 2012...

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