5 Easy Ways to Simplify (and Spend Less!) On Your New Year’s Bash

The annual countdown to the New Year is upon us. Whether you’re resolving to spend less in 2016 or simply trying to avoid the crowds, throwing a New Year’s bash with friends or family can be a great way to ring in the coming year without hassle. So we’ve done the work for you, scouring Pinterest for DIY (or semi homemade) ideas that can help you plan the perfect party without stress.

Here are five of our favorites:

Create a Photo Booth

We’re sure someone on your invite list got a selfie stick for Christmas. Put that thing to good use! Set a corner of the party area with a festive backdrop and include several fun props to jazz up the photos. Bonus: if you have a polaroid (this Polaroid is only $80!) and a printer, you can even give the pictures out as party favors at the end of the night. We love these polaroid-specific frames from Urban Outfitters to really make the images pop, too. This is a great interactive activity, but also eliminates the need for too many games — which can feel like “forced fun” during a long evening.

Get Takeout

Seriously. This is a long night, and the last thing you want to do is spend all day cooking (and cleaning). Party platters from places like Chic-Fil-A are always a hit, but you can also order from your local Chinese place or neighborhood Mexican place. Plate the items in pretty disposable plastic ware, offering ample condiments and plenty of paper plates. People can eat what they want, when they want, and you’ll skip the hassle.

Add a dose of homemade by having a signature drink – like a punch – that you can serve in bulk, but also looks festive and pretty. Here are a few of our favorites.

Go Monochrome

The unofficial colors of New Year’s Eve? Black, White, Silver and Gold. Stick with these simple colors and save the “countdown to 2016” branded merchandise that you’ll only be able to use for one night. Take advantage of the glittery decor likely still in your house from the holidays, hang some twinkle lights, and call it a day. Balloons are an inexpensive but nice touch for festive decor as well.

Take Requests 

Does someone want to take a chore off your plate? Let them. Ask friends for song requests, or let that music buff curate the perfect playlist as their “contribution” to the party. Spotify is also a great way to find new songs that fit your mood and theme.

Host a New Year’s Day Brunch 

Hosting a New Year’s Eve bash is a big endeavor! If you’re like us, you might prefer to ring in 2016 in a smaller setting with just family or your significant other. Host a “resolution” (or “hangover”) brunch around noon the next day instead, opting for a laid-back open house format where friends can come by at their leisure and catch up about their plans for the new year over mimosas and bacon. No party hats, fancy countdown champagne or sparkly dresses necessary.

About McLean Robbins

McLean Rob­bins is a Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based lux­ury lifestyle writer spe­cial­iz­ing in travel, spas, and wed­dings. She writes reg­u­larly for the Travel Channel, Forbes Travel Guide, The Wash­ing­ton­ian, AOL, Robb Report, Pursuitist, and many more. Fol­low her on Twit­ter: @McLeanRobbins and on Google +

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