There is no denying that 2020 has been a rough year all around. When Covid-19 hit, the world went into lockdown. You had to absolutely change your lifestyle and the hits just kept coming. No matter what you dealt with this year, loss, unemployment, or anxiety, you’re probably excited to put 2020 behind you. What better way to celebrate a new beginning and a fresh 2021 with a great end-of-year party. Since big bashes are still a bit unsafe, this may be a great opportunity to schedule a party or set up an end-of-year event with your close circle. Whether it’s friends or family, your loved ones have gotten you through whatever tough times this year has brought. So bring them together for one last celebration in honor of your relationships and the new year to come.

Even a small gathering has to be done right. You want to keep your guests entertained every second. Create a theme or maybe take the time to reminisce on the good times you’ve had this year. Find a space that can accommodate all your needs and plan some nice activities you can all enjoy. Plus, you can’t forget about some great food and beverage to make your party complete. However, you choose to celebrate, keep these simple tips in mind to guarantee you have an incredible end-of-year party for you and your closest friends.

Celebrate the year you’ve had.

The end of the year is always a great time for sentimentality and reminiscing. Take advantage of these feelings as you’re planning your event. Take the opportunity to put together a video or even a picture slideshow people can look through and remember the fun stuff the year brought. Use the best online photo storage that can connect through your iCloud to several devices so you can enjoy these memories on your smartphone, TV, or other devices. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to want to keep your photos safe in a one drive folder. Your memories matter. Share them with the people that are important to you and reminisce on what you have to be grateful for this year.

Create a Theme

Everyone knows, a great party has to have a great theme. So as you’re planning your end-of-year party, remember to include a great theme. Are you going for a full-out New Year’s Eve bash vibe or a more chill type of evening? Depending on where you live, you’ll have different options. In warmer areas, swimming pool builders in Tampa can help you throw a backyard bash for the end of the year. Create that outdoor spa or custom swimming pool where people can still have fun in the sun even in a little cooler temperatures. When you get farther from the equator, you can even go on the other end of the spectrum. Throw a cozy winter party complete with snow angels and hot cocoa. Whatever theme you decide on, let it inform your decisions and help you create that perfect, memorable party.

Find a Space

Depending on how many people you’re inviting, you may need a specific party space. Right now, you’re probably keeping your numbers small, but it can still be understandable to look for a location outside of your home. Consider renting out a special room at a restaurant or an event space at your local warehouse. You can also decide if you want your end-of-year celebration to involve a specific activity. For example, if you want to plan a movie night or a bowling tournament, you will need to know where you’re going.

If you do end up hosting an event at your home, remember to set some ground rules. It’s OK to specify rooms and spaces you don’t want your guests going to. That way you only have to clean up and decorate the main areas. You can also decorate and spruce up your walls with some sound proof panels. This will add to your decor while keeping the noise level down for the neighbors. It can also be a fun way to spruce up your living area for the new year as well.

Verify your guest list.

In the time of Covid, everyone has been asked to keep their circle of people you see on a regular basis small. To keep everyone safe, you want to do a great job of monitoring that guest list. As fun and exciting as a giant party with dozens of people might be, this may be the year to keep the numbers small. Verify your guest list and make sure everyone is following safety precautions. You want to be sure all your guests feel comfortable and will be able to have a fun time together. Whether you’re sending out invitations, making an event on social media, or just texting your close circle, make sure everyone knows the plan and is excited about your event.

Bring the party drinks and food.

Now, you can’t really have a party without some drinks and snacks, right? Creating your menu can be the most fun part of setting up your end-of-year party. Remember, this can absolutely tie into your theme. Maybe design your own cocktail that everyone can enjoy. Or create some food items that remind you of silly or fun stories from earlier in the year. New Year’s Eve is known for champagne toasts and fancy feasts. Don’t leave your guests disappointed. Make that quick trip out to the liquor store or even ask people to bring a dish or dessert to share. Let your food and beverage shine and add gravitas to your end-of-year party.

Keep to your budget.

Throwing a party is a fun affair, but it can also be an expensive one. Before you completely go overboard, it’s a good idea to set a budget. Know how much you’re willing to spend on food, decorations, and any party favors. It can be helpful to ask friends and family to contribute in little ways. Ask people to each bring a dish or drinks, tell your friends to each bring a game or form of entertainment, and if you’re going to a venue, be upfront with your guests about the costs and collect money upfront. You want to have a good time, and you don’t need to stress about money to do it. Remember, you’re there to celebrate the year you’ve had and all your beautiful relationships. You don’t need to shell out a bunch of cash in order to enjoy the day.

Plan some entertainment.

So far, there’s been a lot of talk about venues and food, but you’re forgetting the last piece of the puzzle which is entertainment! You want to create a memorable moment or an exciting surprise for your guests — and this can be as simple or extravagant as you want it to be. You can invest and plan fun games for your friends specifically. You can set up an outdoor movie extravaganza. You can plan a wine tasting or a cooking night. Or you can do something a little fancier like hiring a chef, renting a banquet hall, or going out to a show. Whatever you choose, just make sure to have that central event or moment that will leave people talking about it well into the new year.