The New Year's Eve Party Survival Guide

Don't miss the great opportunities that New Year's offers -- or fall prey to common party dangers.
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Celebration Strategies

New Year's Eve is like prom night for grown-ups. At best, it's a sparkling evening of glittery dresses, dreamy music, and great friends. But sometimes the pressure to have a fabulous night can backfire, resulting in disappointment, drunkenness, or worse. Here are a few tips to help make yours the happiest of New Year's.

December 31 Opportunities

1. Look gorgeous. In this casual dress world, there are so few dress-up occasions. So let yourself shine this New Year's in a beautiful holiday dress. Shimmery red silk-and-crepe, elegant black lace and beautiful jewel-toned taffetas are just a few of the sexy styles that will knock 'em dead.

2. Bring an ice-breaking game to the party. For example, pin slips of paper with the names of celebrities and public figures to everyone's back. Guests need to determine "their" identity by asking and answering yes or no questions. It's a great way to start talking to people you don't know, and it beats ho-hum conversation-starters like "What do you do?" and "How's your commute?"

3. Find a New Year's resolution buddy. Since we all end up having the same resolutions anyway -- lose weight, quit smoking, join a gym -- double your efforts by suggesting to someone you meet that you tackle your resolutions together. You'll not only have extra incentive to follow through on your vow, you may make a new friend, too.

4. Organize a New Year's "block" party. Hold a progressive dinner party with the people in your neighborhood -- gather for appetizers at one house, the main course at the next, and dessert at the final stop. You'll get to know your neighbors and no one has to drive!

5. Make a 2008"documentary." Bring a video camera to the party and ask guests to recall their personal highlights of 2008. Remembering all the good things that happened in the past year will put everyone in a festive mood -- and the video is great fun to watch when the party's winding down.

Continued on page 2:  December 31 Dangers


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