Most people want to decorate for their New Years Eve party, but they don't always have a lot of money or any inspiration. I've found that New Years is on my list of parties that not very many people come up with creative ideas for. I have searched and searched however and have found a few.
First of all let me say stop it to the people using gold, green and purple. Just stop it, now. Those are Mardi Gras traditional colors. Most people tend to decorate in gold and silver, black and white, or any mixture. There are several popular themes that I've seen- mainly clocks and numbers. Here are some templates for clock faces or you can copy an image from Google images (search: clock face template and copy and paste the one you want). You can also group dollar store (or thrift store!!!!) clocks as centerpieces and use them as gifts at the end of the party. Baloons and streamers are also a popular decoration as they're cheap and very versatile. Sparklers can be bought online here and used in a lot of places with decorations. Really cheap decorations can also be purchased at www.orientaltrading.com .
There are lots of foods you can use to celebrate that still have a New Years Eve kind of theme. Fortune cookies are very popular for this particular celebration and can be bought cheaply at Wal-Mart. You can dress these up by dipping them in almond bark and then candy if you'd like. I've also seen clock cakes, which are just your basic cake with a clock face iced on the top. Cookies can be decorated the same way. If you are serving alcohol you might want to keep the food to a minimum, serving just appetizers which are highly appropriate in this type of social gathering anyway. Dollar stores sell packets of several champagne glasses for dirt cheap and these can be filled with anything. If you're using metalics fill them with Hershey's kisses. Use a sharpie or permanant marker to draw numbers on the outside of the glasses, like the ball drop countdown. Coincidentally, cupcakes look amazing on top of candies and fit well in those glasses- especially with an added spark from sparklers in the cupcakes. As far as drinks go you can serve anything you'd like. If you want to give the look of serving alcohol you can use sparkling juices. Fill a galvanized tub with ice and stick in several bottles of sparkling juices and ciders.
If you really want to have fun with your food you can go all out and serve traditional "lucky foods"
- Ring shaped cakes are on the list as they represent how the year has come full circle. Donuts would work well here.
- Dumplings- the asian kind. They represent the currency china used to use and represent hope for a good fiscal year.
- Fish- In China, a whole steamed fish symbolizes a long and healthy life and oysters and prawns are lucky, too. In Poland, one serves pickled herring at midnight; in Italy, dried salt cod stars in a variety of holiday dishes; and in Germany, you simply can't celebrate the day without noshing on carp, which often appears in a stew. Germans take it one step further, though — many tuck a few carp scales into their wallets afterward to keep from running out of money in the following year.
- Grapes are popular in Spain. You're apparently supposed to pop one in your mouth with each chime for luck.
- I saved my favorite for last black eyed peas and collard greens. I'm from the south and dishes like Hoppin' John are popular. There are also ways to make Hoppin' John with the greens in a crock pot.