How to Host a Fabulous New Year's Day Brunch

Brunch like it's 2017.

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While New Year’s Eve typically gets most of the attention, New Year’s Day is an equally joyous occasion and deserves an equally joyous celebration. It’s the perfect time to recognize the start of a fresh year in a casual, low-key way with family and friends. It’s also the perfect time to host a brunch — and who turns down an invitation to brunch? The place where breakfast and lunch collide is a glorious place, my friends.

Hosting a New Year’s Day brunch is easier than you might think. I’m sharing five steps to show you exactly how to do it (recipes included!). Take a look, and start planning.

1: Send Out Last-Minute Invites (or Texts)

Printable Invitations

Printable Invitations

Set the mood for your New Year's Day festivities with our free printable party invitations.

If you can act fast, send out our free printable party invitations. If it’s a little too last-minute for invites, a group text will do the trick.

2: Set a Pretty Table

New Year's Brunch Table Setting

New Year's Brunch Table Setting

To create this look, search your favorite vintage stores for glassware and dessert plates with pink or gold detailing. Use a basic white dinner plate on the bottom of every place setting. Top it with a geometric napkin (these are made from fabric purchased from Quadrille, Inc.) and the vintage plates. Repurpose the printable invitations as menu cards to top off each place setting.

Whether you send out our free printable invitations or not, you can definitely use them to fancy up your place settings. To recreate the rest of this look, use geometric napkins, vintage glassware and dessert plates with metallic detailing.

3: Create a Resolution Game

Sharing Resolutions

Sharing Resolutions

Jump start the table talk by asking each guest to anonymously write down their New Year’s resolution and drop it into a jar.

Set a large jar in the middle of your table with colorful slips of paper and a few pens. Ask each guest to anonymously write down his or her New Year’s resolution and drop it into the jar. Once all the resolutions are collected, read them aloud, asking everyone to guess who wrote each one. Tip: Place the jar in a tray with a vase of tulips (or other readily available flowers) to create a super-simple centerpiece.

4: Set Up a Mimosa Bar

How to Setup a Make-Your-Own Mimosa Bar

How to Setup a Make-Your-Own Mimosa Bar

Start New Year’s Day on a festive note by letting guests be their own mixologists at a self-serve mimosa bar. My full-proof tips to creating the perfect setup

Let guests create their own concoctions at a make-your-own mimosa bar with a variety of juices and ingredients.

5: Build a Lucky Brunch Menu

Embrace good health and prosperity in the new year by building your brunch menu with foods believed to bring good luck.

Greens

Because greens resemble money, they symbolize wealth in the coming year. Consider serving a collard greens breakfast skillet or green smoothies.

Pork

Pigs represent prosperity. Serve up some braised pork belly on from-scratch biscuits, or serve your pork in the form of bacon in a bacon-potato frittata.

Fish

Fish are lucky for many reasons. First, their scales resemble coins. Second, they swim in schools, which represents abundance and prosperity. Last, they swim forward, which shows progress. Salmon is a great option for brunch. Try our smoked salmon cups, salmon eggs Benedict or mini bagels with lox.

Black-Eyed Peas

Because of their coin-like appearance, black-eyed peas are believed to bring wealth and good luck. In the South, people often eat them in the form of Hoppin’ John, a Lowcountry dish of rice and black-eyed peas. For brunch, consider pairing Hoppin’ John with braised greens and fried eggs.

black eyed peas and greens

black eyed peas and greens

Atlanta chef/restaurateur Anne Quatrano makes a New Year's Day spread for her staff, including braised winter greens and Hoppin' John, or Southern-style beans and rice. 

Photo by: Image by Brian Woodcock

Image by Brian Woodcock

Ring-Shaped Dessert

Ring-shaped cakes and desserts symbolize the year coming full circle. Cap off your brunch with an applesauce bundt cake or some tasty donuts.

Host a New Year's Eve Party Using Upcycled Christmas Decor

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If you'd rather host a New Year's Eve party, check out these genius tips for upcycling Christmas decor.

Upcycle for NYE

After every Christmas, we all have to clear out the holiday decor as we get ready for a new year. This year, don't let all the baubles and lights go to waste. Instead, upcycle your favorite Christmas decorations and throw one more party during New Year's Eve.

Decorate With Christmas Trimmings

You already have everything you need to throw a great party. Wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift tags can all be recycled to bring a chic, stylish accent to your New Year's Eve event.

A Classic Color Palette

To stretch your Christmas trimmings beyond December 25th, choose gift wrap and accessories in a timeless color palette. For this New Year's Eve party, silvers, golds, blacks and whites bring modern neutrals and metallics together with the traditional colors of the season.

Don't Forget the Balloons

While upcycling your Christmas items is a great place to start, keep the party atmosphere going by adding the classic standards of a New Year's Eve party. Bring in fun pieces like party hats and balloons for the perfect party feel.

Wrapping Paper Tablecloth

After the Christmas presents have been wrapped, be sure to hold on to any extra wrapping paper. With the right paper and a little ingenuity, you have all the ingredients for a unique and attractive tablescape. For this New Year's gathering, glittering gold wrapping paper covers the table in lieu of a tablecloth.

Small Dessert, Big Flavor

Once you've set the table, it's time to adorn it with sweets and colorful decor. Small tarts and pies complete the beautiful tabletop display.

Pink Rose Centepiece

At any party, the right pop of color makes all the difference. Set the table with a gorgeous bouquet of brightly-hued pink roses to set against the black, white and metallic color scheme.

Gift Tag Place Cards

Let your holiday gift tags serve double duty this season, and use them as place cards for your New Year's Eve table. Tie the cards with metallic ribbon, and write each guest's name for a great alternative to traditional place cards.

Ornament Place Setting

What are the holidays without lights and baubles? Keep your vintage Christmas ornaments around this year as place settings for your table decor. Here, each salad plate was topped with a silver ornament, and white string lights make an unexpected runner for the table.

A Bar Area That Dazzles

Make your bar area center of attention. Recycle sparkling gift boxes and colorful baubles to spruce up your bar display. Mix in metallics for an extra touch.

Serving Tray Embellishment

To keep the glitter party theme going, look no further than the tissue paper you wrapped your Christmas gifts in. Use tissue paper embossed with gold flecks, and cut into smaller rectangular pieces to line serving trays.

Miniature Champagne Bottles

To incorporate the traditional black-and-white and metallic color palette in unexpected ways, tie black-and-white paper straws to miniature champagne bottles with metallic gift wrapping twine.

Photo By: Jeanine Hays

Turn Up the Music

Music is the final touch for the bar area. For a vintage feel, break out the record player and play your favorite classics.

Photo By: Jeanine Hays

Wrapping Paper Photo Backdrop

Create your own colorful backdrop for a photo booth using big sheets of Christmas wrapping paper. To create this look, place four sheets together and apply to the wall with double stick tape.

Gift Bow Centerpiece

Giant, oversized gift bows are one of the most versatile pieces that you can upcycle. Not only do they keep the holiday feeling alive while you ring in the New Year, but they can also work in many different places. Pair them with other recycled Christmas decor to create festive centerpieces, or use them as props for your photo booth. Tie big bows to headbands to create a festive holiday fashion accessory.

Tissue Paper Confetti

Use Christmas tissue paper to create confetti for a budget-friendly way to ring in the New Year. To make, place a variety of colorful sheets together, and cut them into small squares. Pass out handfuls to guests for them to toss at the stroke of midnight.

Ring in the New Year

Once the setting is complete, you're ready to have your best New Year's Eve party. Encourage guests to get playful in the photo booth for the perfect picture. Pop the champagne, grab some balloons and blow the confetti at midnight.

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