My Top Ten New Year’s Eve Essentials

It’s New Year’s Eve again, dear friends – the greatest day of the year in my opinion: we say goodbye to the old year, and in a few hours we’ll ring in a new one. And there are lots of things to do on this day, of course, a lot of ways to celebrate and a lot of traditions. Here are the things I think are most important for a New Year’s Eve:

  1. Company

The most essential thing of all: good company. Get together with your loved ones, your friends, to celebrate and be merry. My darling Ian and me went all the way across Europe to visit my Mum in Greece and to greet the new year together; if you haven’t got any family or good friends close to you, just go to the pub or to a town or city square where there will be lots of people cheering and hugging each other when the clock chimes midnight!

2. Fireworks

There can’t be a New Year’s Eve without fireworks. Full stop. It’s the one time of the year when we all need that unique uplifting spectacle in the sky, that magnificent display that tells us that the future is bright and there are good times coming – so, simply enjoy it!

3. Champagne

Another essential, of course, is the bubbly to pour at midnight into elegant glasses to toast and wish each other a happy New Year. It doesn’t have to be expensive, you can get a bottle of sparkling wine from your local supermarket, it doesn’t matter where it’s from, just as long as the cork pops!

4. Glad rags

It’s always exciting to get your best clothes out of the closet; many of us haven’t got a lot of occasions for dressing up, but New Year’s Eve should definitely be one of them, no matter whether you’re going out or celebrating at home. Believe it or not, but I’ve NEVER been to a restaurant, pub or bar on New Year’s Eve, we’ve always celebrated at home – but I’ve always put on some glad rags for this very special day…

5. Decorations

Take some time to decorate your home, too, dear friends, it’s really worth it – it just cheers you up no end to see all the colourful garlands and paper streamers! And you can reuse them next year, of course; just put them in a box in the attic and they’ll be ready for the next New Year’s Eve.

6. Cocktails

If, like me, you’re a fan of old movies and/or novels from the 1920s and 1930s, everything from “The Thin Man” to Agatha Christie, then you’ll know all about those grand old cocktails with cool names like Sidecar, White Lady and Manhattan – or how about trying a more modern one like a “Slow Screw Against the Wall”? It’s just such great fun shaking that shaker and decorating the glasses with bits of fruit and little umbrellas; and, of course, the drink itself will enhance the party mood as well. Be careful, though, don’t overdo it, some of them are pretty strong!

7. Snacks buffet

You’ll also need some food to go with all your drinks, though there’s no need or time really for a proper dinner; so how about a buffet with a touch of luxury instead? Little sandwiches with smoked salmon, prosciutto, camembert and tartare, hard boiled eggs with caviar, picks with cheese and grapes, cherry tomatoes and olives – a bit of decadence once a year doesn’t do any harm…

8. Music

Who could imagine a New Year’s Eve party without music? There will be lots of TV programmes with party music, of course, but you can also create your own song list with your CDs, or with YouTube; whether it’s Dixieland jazz, rock’n roll or 1970s pop, simply go for the most cheerful stuff that guarantees good mood…

9. Movie

During the long waiting time until midnight, you can also watch a movie that’s in some way related to New Year’s Eve; there are quite a lot of great comedies and thrillers to choose from, but my personal favourite is the timeless Mae West classic “Every Day’s a Holiday” – here’s the link:

10. Dinner for One

And then there’s that very special German tradition that isn’t really German but British: an obscure old music hall sketch starring Freddie Frinton and May Warden that a German TV producer got interested in and recorded and broadcast in the 1960s – and it’s been on German TV every New Year’s Eve ever since! It’s called “Dinner for One”, and believe me, it’ll have you rolling on the floor with laughter every time – I’ve been watching it every year for almost 50 years now…

Happy New Year, dear friends, all the best, and be sure to enjoy your New Year’s Eve party, it only comes but once a year!

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