How absolutely fitting for bringing in the New Year – a celebration in our home with great friends!

The night ended with my husband and me cuddling alone around the outside fire as it started to rain. The guests were gone, the kids put themselves to bed, and the night was silent all except for the crackling of the fire and the large drops of rain coming down.

Last year, you might recall my “Change it Around” New Years Party (click on Part I, and Part II) where we celebrated with a larger group, changing seats every course! It was fun, lively, but slightly tight around our table as great memories were made! We also had a ton of kids running around.

Different ways to celebrate
There are so many different ways to have a party – a sit down dinner, a potluck buffet style type of meal, a progressive dinner where you go from house to house. Or even grabbing some friends and eating out!

Mix it up
I think it’s important to keep the “mix-it-up” attitude! One where you invite different people to different events – where there are many different opportunities to show hospitality, just as long as you show it!

How I did it
So this year I decided to create a more intimate setting and not make it such a large party. We only changed seating twice, starting with the ladies at one end and men at the other – ending with couples sitting together.

I kept a stack of beautiful IKEA paper napkins (don’t they look like cloth?) nearby as we changed the seating around, and I prepared my tried and true, all-time favorite chicken dish, with balsamic drizzle, along with fresh veggies, and my friends brought the rest of the courses! 

Great unique conversation at every course – check!

An expression of warm approval – check!

Showing joyful satisfaction – check!

An exuberant party – check!

Immense comic relief – check!

Oh my goodness, do I ever get nostalgic thinking back this past holiday season in general, not only to our NYE smaller dinner party, but to many celebrations that I was a part of.

Because every event centered on great friends, celebration and food.
(Myrna brought trifle – enough to feed an army!)

Seriously, the festive spirit and rejoicing over the holiday was far above my expectations.

Here’s to more hospitality in 2009!

As we wrapped up the party at midnight – each couple with a kiss – we were happy to let this past year rest. And we look forward to the new …