Cozy New Year’s Eve Dinner Party (at home)

[As always, click on any photo for a larger view]

A few years ago, my hubby and I decided to start celebrating New Year’s Eve at home…. just the 2 of us.  But, instead of eating our dinner in the kitchen, I decided to create the feel of a cozy restaurant by placing a small table in front of the fireplace and Christmas tree in the Living Room…  the perfect setting for a romantic evening for two.  The dinner, decor & party favor ideas I created this year could also be used for a party of more than 2, so I’m sharing in case you’re up for an easy-to-do celebration!


These were soooo easy to create!   Collect empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, to wrap, using gold, black or silver paper (it’s ok to use leftover holiday paper if it matches your color scheme), ribbon, candy, party confetti, scratch-off lottery tickets and create a personalized horoscope for each person attending (copy these from the internet & remember to keep it positive! LOL)…
s_cracker ingreds
Cut a length of gift wrap wide enough to wrap completely around the empty paper roll (I used toilet paper rolls) and 2 inches longer on each end…

s_cracker roll up

Roll up the toilet paper roll in the paper and tape closed…


Squish (technical term, in case you were wondering) one end and tie it closed with ribbon so you can fill the tube…

s_cracker_ribbon curled

Place inside: a scratch-off lottery ticket, the recipient’s personal horoscope (according to their Zodiac sign), a bit of the confetti & candy in the other (open) end…

s_cracker_insert ingreds


Squish the remaining end & tie it closed with curled ribbon also.  Add self-adhesive, glittered letters to the outside, spelling out each of your guest’s names, making it easier to hand them the correct horoscope.  And if you find that some of your guests have longer names, you may want to go with their initials/monogram instead (both options show below)…



At Target, I found some plastic black plates (under $2.00 each) & a package of 8 clear plates for around $3.00.  I placed self-adhesive, number stickers (representing the incoming year – 2013) and some silver, mylar confetti in the center of the black plate.  Then, I turned the black plate into a charger by covering it with one of the clear plastic plates.  I held the clear plate in place using 4 glue dots…

plate assembly

HELPFUL HINT:  I love this idea because, next year, I can simply peel off the last number (3) and add the new number (4) and place a fresh clear plate on top to recycle the whole look!
And just look at how great these inexpensive items look on my cozy New Year’s table…

s_plate on table

My Christmas tree and fireplace garland was super easy to transition into a look for New Year’s because of the color combination and theme I chose this year.  So, if you’re planning a New Year’s gathering, keep that in mind when you’re decorating for Christmas.
To turn my Christmas decorations into a”New Year’s” feel, I removed: the Christmas tree candles & SEASONS GREETINGS sign from the mantle.  I added: more candles, New Year Party Hats, a “2013” I drew & cut out of a small piece of foam core board & painted gold, a few “Happy New Year” plastic light covers (to the wreath & garland) and floated 4 gold balloons on black ribbon in front of the fireplace, covering the balloon weights with gold, mylar basket shred from the Dollar Tree…

s_table best

s_balloons base

HELPFUL HINT:  If you can’t afford or don’t have time to get your balloons filled with helium, use packing tape (rolled into a circle so it will stick to the back of your balloon and a 2nd, flat surface) to keep a balloon, in place, making it appear to be floating!
To the Christmas tree, I added black, gold and silver horn cardboard blowers, a few of the “Happy New Year” plastic light covers and some cool clock ornaments I found a few years ago.  HELPFUL HINT:  Clock ornaments are in stores every year, so keep an eye out for them.  You will only need to purchase around 7 clock theme ornaments to add a New Year feel to your tree.

s_tree top

So, on a small OR large-scale… enjoy your party!

Wishing you a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR

 and thank you for your support of THE SEASONAL HOME,



Transition your Christmas tree into a NEW YEAR’S Celebration tree


[click on any photo for a larger view]

It’s time to decorate for our New Year’s Eve party and I saw an opportunity to change one of my Christmas trees into a New Year’s Celebration Tree – to add a new twist to our party!

If you checked out my 2011 Holiday photos (, you probably noticed the “Pepperminty” flat-back, white, wall tree in my kitchen.  I also shared the directions for making my creative tree skirt/box in another post ( 

I began by removing all of the red & white decorations from the tree and pulling out my tree skirt/box to re-wrap it, using black wrapping paper.  Next, I used one 11″ x 14″ black & one 11″ x 14″ white foam sheets.  Out of the white foam sheet, I cut a large triangle out of the white and 2 small triangles to create the chest & collar area of a tuxedo shirt.  Out of the black foam sheet, I cut 3 circles (for the shirt buttons) and 1 bow tie shape.  The fact that they were self-adhesive made assembling these pieces super easy and adhering it to my box a no-brainer!  All I had to do then is re-slide my “tuxedo” box back into position under the tree. 

I created a black top hat by also wrapping a circle and rectangle of poster board with black gift wrap and adding self-adhesive “2012” letters and some silver tinsel garland.  This would be even easier if you happen to have black poster board, of course. 

Finally, I added black, frosted white, gold (onion shape) and silver glittery ornaments as well as HAPPY NEW YEAR light covers, crystal starbursts and clock-face ornaments  to the tree and my New Year’s decoration was complete.

Some other decorations you might consider adding:

  • Crossed plastic champagne stems (tie them together with shiny ribbon and add gold basket filler (inside the flutes) to simulate champagne
  • Balloons
  • Party Blowers and Poppers
  • Metallic star sprays
  • “Happy New Year” banners (place these on the tree like you would ribbon)

Here’s the finished product… I hope this idea saves you some time AND money so you can enjoy your New Year’s celebration!  Don’t forget to check out my other New Year celebrating ideas under the NEW YEARS! category (in the right hand column of this page).  Also consider adding a surprise or inspirational sentiment inside each balloon for your guests to pop and enjoy at the end of the evening (thank you Gina!).

Enjoy the Creativity!


New Year’s Tradition

As evidenced, by my book, I absolutely “heart” family traditions.  This post is about someone “famous” who also appears to enjoy celebrating, with family traditions.

If I had to name a person in Hollywood that I admire, it would definitely be RON HOWARD.  I’ve been watching and enjoying his career my entire life.  But, I don’t think I admired him any more than after I saw an interview he did with Jay Leno right after Christmas 2010.  During the interview, Ron discussed his (grown) family’s New Year’s tradition where they create a small bon fire (you could also use a portable fire pit) to sit around.  

They each write down something negative (in their life… maybe a bad habit or memory) and throw it into the fire, in a ceremonial gesture to rid themselves of it.  Below is a video link to if you’d like to check out the actual interview with Ron Howard and Jay Leno (there’s a short commercial first, unfortunately, but the video will begin immediately after that).  It’s short and pretty funny, so I think you’ll enjoy the giggle.



Turning Christmas into New Year’s Eve!

[click on any photo, for a more detailed view]

Sometimes, it can feel so sad once the excitement of Christmas has come and gone. 😦  But, that’s why planning a New Year’s Eve get-together can be essential!  I know…. I know… we’re all tired.  So, the thought of putting up any “special” decorations for New Year’s Eve is not a welcome one.  However, if you can find just enough energy to remove “only” the decorations from your tree and garland, you will be one step closer to creating a  festive New Year’s Eve decor for your party! 

Below, you will see how I removed all the red & green “Christmas” colors from my garland and then, added in gold, silver and black as well as a few clear star ornaments. Then, I tucked foil “star” sprays in the corners in between a couple of party hats, and placed HAPPY NEW YEAR light covers (from the party store) over a few of the lights.  [NOTE: Typically, these light covers come with a strand of 10 miniature lights and are removable – be sure to verify this before leaving the store.  Remove them from their original light strand and place them over a few lights in your existing garland, spacing them out evenly.]

Next, gather any clocks you have around the house and place them on the mantel and set at least one of them to eastern standard time (EST).  For some extra fun…  if you have any guests from another state or country, set the other clocks to their time.

Finally, [not pictured] remove the ornaments from your Christmas tree & add the same black, silver & gold ornament combination, with foil star sprays as a topper and a 3-yard piece of gold or silver lame’ fabric as a tree skirt.  Check your tablecloth supply (before you purchase fabric) to save money, because you may have a  bling-y one that would make a perfect tree skirt! And to save money on decorations, simply blow up gold, silver, black & clear balloons to evenly and gently tuck (between branches) throughout your tree for a less expensive decorating option!

And if you have time, use your computer as a source for extra decorations as well as a small party activity.  In a word document, use “Auto Shapes” to create several tags.   Add the phrase “My Wish for the New Year…” in a text box (at the top of the tag).  Print and cut-out the tags and punch a hole in one end so you can thread a ribbon through it.  Hand one to each of your New Year’s Eve party guests, as they arrive and ask them to (annonymously) write their New Year’s wish (for themselves, someone else or the world) on their tag and tie it on the tree, sometime during the evening.  Going through this little bit of extra effort is a great way for you to help them reinforce their wish for the new year!

P.S. Also, if you have the extra funds to purchase a dozen helium-filled balloons, they would be beautiful split into two sets of 6 and placed on each end of your mantle, for a little additional height!

happy new year!