Planning an Intimate New Year’s Eve Party at Home with Friends

The Countdown to New Year’s Eve is on with these fun and healthy tips for a perfect gathering

As the year draws to a close and the clock strikes midnight, there are few celebrations more comfortable than an intimate celebration with friends for New Year’s Eve. Planning such an event allows you to create memories with your closest friends and family, facilitating a warm and celebratory atmosphere. Unlike grand, elaborate affairs, an intimate gathering enables you to focus on personal connections and shared moments, which I love!  Read along to see my 4 D’s in hosting a NYE gathering.

Planning an Intimate and Healthy New Year's Eve Party at Home with Friends

Specify the Dress Code

If you don’t take this step, it’s inevitable that someone will call and ask, “What are you wearing?”  So be proactive here, and choose a dress code and let everyone know. Make it as dressy or casual as you like.  The key point here is making the decision and letting your guests know the plan. If it’s a comfortable intimate gathering with your closest crew like mine, you may have an unspoken dress code.  But if you decide to break it up this year, here are a few thoughts:

  • Dress in Winter White – There is just something chic and celebratory about a crowd in winter white.
  • 80’s Prom – A blast from the past can create a super fun night.
  • Cocktail attire – If too many Ugly Christmas Sweater parties have you down, encourage your friends to wear their cocktail attire for a very elevated and elegant evening.
  • Wear green- Ring in a year of luck and prosperity and top off the night with a bowl of greens for luck.  Here’s a bonus recipe for my favorite stovetop greens.
  • Yoga Night  – Wear your exercise clothes, bring a mat and close the evening with slow restorative, stretching


Create a festive ambiance.  If your party includes a theme, obviously reference that and your dress code in the invitation. An intimate New Year’s Eve party doesn’t necessarily call for elaborate decorations, especially if you leave your Christmas decorations up into the New Year.  Add a few New Year’s elements into your decorations and freshen it up with new ribbon and you’re done!  Glam decorations, disco balls, streamers, confetti poppers, are all things that make the party fun.

Do you leave your Christmas tree up until the New Year?  Or do you take it down immediately after Christmas?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Decide on a Memorable Meal

Simple Shrimp Cocktail in Nambé Dish Next, and of course my favorite, is to curate a menu of delectable bites and beverages. Since most of use are tired of the turkey, ham, and heavy sides of the holiday, I like making New Year’s Eve a night for “healthier fare!”

In my case, I’m having my dear friends each bring healthy appetizers or dish versus serving a heavy main course.  I’ve asked everyone to bring a favorite healthy dish focused on whole foods full of fresh ingredients. I’ll be making shrimp cocktail and some favorite salads to go along with it.




Since I’ve been incorporating my beloved Nambé throughout my dishes this holiday season, NYE will be no different.  Here’s what I’m serving along with a simple recipe that takes shrimp cocktail to the next level.

Nambé Scoop Server with Shrimp Cocktail

For serving shrimp on ice and homemade cocktail sauce,  I’ll be using my Nambé Scoop Server.  It’s an artful take on a classic chip and dip bowl, and it is simply spectacular.  I will place my shrimp on ice in the dish and Nambé’s metal alloy allows for temperature retention. So, when I fill the bottom bowl with ice, it will help keep the ice and my shrimp cold! The serving piece itself can even be placed in the freezer or refrigerator prior to serving to help with the cooling properties.

I always opt for homemade cocktail sauce.  It is SO easy and can include as little as two ingredients while being full of flavor.  See below.


Now, these precious Nambé Christmas tree trays may scream for charcuterie, but what about a traditional crudité?  Since charcuterie boards swept the culinary world, crudités seem to have fallen off a bit…or rather have found themselves on top of the charcuterie board.  But, friends, here is the short of it:

Charcuterie is French for “Cold Cuts”
Crudité is French for “Raw Vegetables”
It’s really that simple!

With all the decadent holiday foods we’ve had, this addition of raw vegetables will work great with our NYE theme of healthy options. One of my favorite things to prepare is a veggie tray with fresh dip.

When selecting vegetables for a vibrant crudité platter, aim for a colorful variety. You can opt for crisp, fresh choices like vibrant bell peppers, crunchy carrots, crisp cucumber, and even blanched asparagus. Include a mix of textures and shapes for visual appeal and pair with flavorful dips.

This year, my crudités will be sure to include red and green peppers, broccoli, and colored baby carrots. The colors will be perfect for the holidays.  I’ll also be making my copycat Chuy’s Jalapeño Ranch topped with fresh cilantro. This is a fabulous dip for vegetables and tortilla chips.

The fabulous wooden Christmas tree dish, the 11″ Christmas dish and the 9″ Christmas dish are all sold separately.

Friends’ Dishes

Typically when friends bring dishes, I ask that they bring it in plasticware.  That afternoon, I’ll pull out all of my Nambé Alloy dishes and my Nambé Braided Glass Salad bowl .  This way, I can have an elegant, cohesive look for my table, and my guests won’t have to worry about transporting a bulky or breakable dish.

intimate celebration for New Year's Eve

Delight Your Guests with Details

When I host a party, I want to make sure that my guests feel special.

  • Backdrop for photos,
  • Elegant string lights.
  • A carefully curated playlist throughout the house
  • A nice champagne for a midnight toast
  • A custom “countdown”.  Maybe your crew is a leave by 9 type.  There’s nothing wrong with counting down to 9!

Details that reflect your personality contribute to the overall charm of the gathering. By investing time and attention into these details, you’ll ensure that your intimate celebration with friends for New Year’s Eve will become a cherished tradition for years to come.

Discussing the many highlights of the last year with my closest friends in my living room is how Zane and I want to close out the year.  I hope your New Year is SAVVY.

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