Small-scale Gatherings for New Year's

December 26, 2020

With COVID restrictions and social distancing rules looking to last throughout the winter, there’s no doubt that this New Year’s Eve is set to be a far from extravagant affair. However, this doesn’t have to put a damper on your party spirit! If you’re wondering how to ring in 2021 both stylishly and safely, check out some of these ideas for a small New Year’s Eve party or Zoom gathering.  

new years video chat seniorsSet the Mood
Creating a party atmosphere starts with music. Get onto your favourite music streaming app and create a collaborative playlist, which you can share with your guests—both virtual and present—so they can add their favourite party songs. If you’ll be having a small gathering at home, a shared playlist helps to create a more personal ambience and gives everyone something to do while they look forward to the big night. If you’re getting together over Zoom, this means you can make sure to be on the same vibe even if you’re not in the same room. Make sure you decide on a song to play at midnight, too!

Co-ordinate with Friends
New Year’s Eve is a great occasion to get dressed up, no matter how small your gathering is. Setting a dress code will add some ceremony to the occasion and make you feel closer to virtual guests. What’s more, if you’ll be wearing masks, why not offer them to your guests as party favors? You can colour co-ordinate or even add some jewels for a really festive look.  

Choose Your Activities
If you’re having a virtual gathering, it might be a good idea to plan some party games. Try a quiz, a virtual wine tasting or some charades and you’ll be having fun long after midnight! If you’re having a small party, games are definitely an excellent option, too. You can also make a “Resolutions Jar”, into which everyone can put a note with their wish, either anonymously or not.  

Think Individually
This year, ditch the grazing buffet table and punch bowl for some individual appetizers and drinks. Focus on plates that can be put together for each person, rather than sharing dishes that risk cross-contamination. Check out some of these ideas for your New Year's Eve party treats.

  • bakery tray2Give everyone a different coloured elastic band to put round the stem of their glass, so there’s no chance of accidentally drinking from someone else’s. Or go even further by designing individual drink decorations for each person - think dried citrus slices, sparkly ribbon and candy threaded onto wooden skewers. 
  • Assemble individual charcuterie boards for each guest - you can even find out their preferences in advance so everyone can have their favourite combination of meats and cheeses.
  • Hand out mini bottles of champagne or wine as party favors. Print some customized labels to wrap round the bottles or buy glasses guests can take home for a lasting memory of a special night.
  • Hand out individual hand sanitizers as party favors; you can even make your own natural sanitizer, pour it into tiny glass bottles and personalize each one.
  • Place an order with the bakery department at Co-op for cookie trays or dessert trays that you can pick up to save time. You can divide up the treats onto individual plates to keep transfer to a minimum.

New Year's Eve Party Meal
If you’ll be sitting down for a meal, a seafood platter is an awesome way to add some luxury and ceremony to the occasion, and Calgary Co-op has everything you need for a decadent feast. Pick up some crab legs and lobster claws and serve them cold with lots of lemon wedges and crusty bread. Watch for Candied Sockeye Salmon Strips for a sweet and tasty seafood treat. A shrimp ring is an impressive first course and goes particularly well with a fresh avocado salad. 

seafood board festive2Choose a main dish that you can prepare in advance to give you the least amount of stress when it’s party dish. A casserole or one-dish meal like moussaka, lasagne or eggplant parmigiana can be made ahead and actually tastes even better when it’s reheated and the flavours have really sunk in. If you do want to prepare something like Co-op’s Roast Royal Premium Rib Roast it’s great cooked up early, and left to rest or served at room temperature. Just make sure only one person is taking care of the serving.

For dessert, try whipping up some champagne cupcakes. Super simple, these babies are made by adding a dash of champagne to both the dough and the icing as well as a generous sprinkle of edible gold glitter. Arrange them on a platter and decorate with sparklers for a dessert that’s both delicious and party-perfect. Serve these with a dollop of one of Righteous Gelato’s special holiday gelatos like Sticky Toffee Pudding or Chocolate Peppermint. Laying out a dish of fresh Chinese mandarins is a nice light way to end the meal too. 

new years poinsettiaDon’t forget to create a festive table with florals and greenery. Co-ops floral department has a host of holiday plants that will bring life to any tablescape. Think poinsettias, paperwhites and amaryllis, or watch out for tiny trees too. 

Ringing in the New Year can still be a special occasion, regardless of restrictions and limitations. Whether you’re hosting a virtual gathering or inviting a select few from your social bubble, it’s just a question of adjusting your mindset and getting creative. There are endless possibilities for a fabulous New Year's Eve party that will bring 2021 in with flair, fun and safety! 

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