TWEAKS+inspiration : Ring in the New Year

It's almost New Year's Eve! Don't you love these mirror ball balloons in a shop window on College Avenue, Berkeley, CA? What a great and easy way to bring "celebration" into our rooms. No matter what you're doing New Year's Eve, there's still time for quick and easy celebration decor. Let's look at couple of ideas to set the mood for New Year's Eve.

Focus on just one space in a room - a dining room table or a fireplace mantel - and pile up paper party hats, string any kind of banner. I once stuck post-it notes on the fireplace surround spelling out "Happy New Year."

In Portland one year, P came up with his own version of a New Year's Eve Party. We bought two alarm clocks at Fred Meyers and set off with party hats and poppers. We made surprise visits to both sets of parents. He set the clock time and alarm to show midnight a few minutes after we arrived. We all donned party hats, set off the poppers and enjoyed a visit with our parents - all hours before the stroke of midnight.

Years later, I read that Queen Elizabeth always has the clocks reset 2 hours early so she can celebrate at 10 p.m. A great idea for family parties.

Some of you have asked to see our other rooms decorated for the holidays. Our mantel in the principal bedroom features 99 Cent Store Christmas trees. I added the banner ($3 from Target) for New Year's Eve.

In my office, I added a bit of tinsel and a few merry lights for the holidays. I've had this IKEA cabinet for a few years. P had added crown moulding and I painted the exterior with leftover kitchen cabinet paint and the backing, a chalk black. White fabric boxes (IKEA) hold other keepsakes ready for the rotating display.

Here's a close up of the right side of the cabinet. Those Montgomery Ward fruitcake tins are what my mom used to keep her Christmas cookies fresh. The angel's bling is a string of tiny battery operated lights and a rhinestone necklace from H&M.

And here's the left side. I fell in love with this Target tinsel tree ($15 on sale) and added some battery powered globe lights. I'm seriously thinking of keeping that tree up year round. Well, maybe.

Looking back, I've spent New Year's Eve working in St. Moritz, passing a bottle of champagne in Time's Square, skiing Heavenly Valley in Lake Tahoe, dancing with P under a zillion dropping balloons at Oakland's Claremont Hotel, cranking up the music in Connie's Mt. Hood cabin, banging pots and pans on the front porch, kid-spying on the fun adult parties in Aunt Helen and Uncle Tom's basement party room, making scratch pizza and drinking champagne in a candle lit kitchen with P.

I'm sure you'll agree that the very best New Year's Eves are spent with those you love, filled with gratitude for the past year and sharing hope for the coming year.

No matter how you celebrate, Happy New Year to you!

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