Throw a Party on New Year’s Day


OK, I’ll admit it. I have trouble making it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. Maybe it’s because by the time New Year’s hits, we’ve been working million-hour days at Nell Hill’s and my energy is spent. Maybe it’s because I’m an early morning girl, and as the evening grows late, I find myself longing for my PJs and snuggly bed. I don’t want to be a party pooper and miss all the New Year’s fun. So, I’ve found the perfect solution: A celebration on New Year’s Day.


Simple brunch for friends and guests


What better way to begin the first hours of the first day of the new year than with a few close friends. Often, my big sister travels in to stay with us for the holidays. It’s wonderfully indulgent for us all to get a leisurely start to the day, rolling out of bed, throwing on a robe, and enjoying a simple breakfast of fruit and pastries. New Year’s morning is also a great time to invite a few dear friends to stop by – the kind of friends you don’t have to dress up for. This perfect breakfast spread was created by my friend Marsee for her family. This metal tree is filled with photos of loved ones.


After close to three months of saying “Yes, please!” to holiday goodies, by New Year’s Day, I know it’s time to return to sanity and get going on that well-worn resolution to get back on a healthy diet. So a light breakfast or brunch is just right for me. Pull out some cake plates or a tiered server and fill it with easy foods guests can enjoy as they drop in.


It’s just as easy to serve your breakfast beverages in pretty glasses as it is to use your everyday stuff. So start the new year by treating yourself to your very best, from china to crystal. Remember, all your pretty pieces were not made so they could languish in your china cabinet, unused. Resolve to not wait for company to use your china, silver and crystal this year – treat yourself, because you deserve it!


A romantic lunch for two


After the hectic holiday season, pause and spend time alone with your special someone. What about setting up a romantic New Year’s Day lunch, just the two of you? When Dan and I became empty-nesters, and there were just two for dinner, we had fun creating special, often unexpected, dining spots in our home. Here, we pulled a small table up to our hearth so we could eat next to a crackling fire. I love this configuration so much, I’ve done the same thing now that we live in our little lake cottage.


I created each place setting on a tray, which made the table easy to set and clean up. I had all my silver serving pieces shined up for the holidays, so I added them to our table to give it a simple elegance.


Since our table by the fireplace wasn’t very large, I pulled up a footstool to use as a serving space. There are so many different ways you can use your furniture when you see it with fresh eyes. Maybe that’s a New Year’s resolution!


A formal dinner on New Year’s Day


It can be hard to pull together a dinner party on New Year’s Eve. People have so many different engagements, and young families have a hard time finding a baby sitter on this popular night. Think about hosting your celebratory dinner on New Year’s Day. We’re back once again at my friend Marsee’s home for this sensational New Year’s dinner.


You can have lots and lots of fun creating a themed centerpiece for New Year’s. Build in a little humor, like Marsee did here, dressing the centerpiece statue as New Year’s revelers, him with a lampshade for a hat, her with a party tiara. Two black garden urns flank the statue, each holding a bouquet of sparklers. When dinner is done, take them outside and light them up!


If your centerpiece is stunning, you can keep each place setting simple. Here, Marsee used gold chargers as the base for white china.


When you fill a dinner plate with food that looks this good, it becomes the instant focal point.


For dessert, Marsee filled the parfait glasses with fruit and cream, and topped them off with sparkling candles.  The perfect finale to a great first day.

No matter how you greet the New Year, I pray the coming year will be filled with peace and joy. I’m thankful I get to spend it with all of you!


Next Week … A nostalgic look at 35 years of decorating our homes and filling our lives with love at Nell Hill’s.