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Cosy up at home: Plan warm, pocket-friendly New Year's Eve

By Radhika Bhirani, New Delhi, Dec 28 : If burning a hole in your pocket at lavish parties with deafening music and a packed crowd of strangers is not your perfect idea of a New Year's Eve bash, how about cosying up in the comfort of your house in the company of close friends and family? Make it special with a bonfire or barbecue or pack in some fun with innovative games.


A New Year's Eve outing at an eatery can cost Rs.5,000 for a couple or even Rs.15,000 and more. A stag entry could mean splurging Rs.3,000 at least. Taxes will be additional.

And just in case you plan to gulp down alcohol, don't forget to keep some cash aside to hire a cab home. Remember, do not drink and drive.

So, just in case you choose to sit at home and watching New Year's Eve special events on the idiot box is not really your idea of fun, call in some friends, family members and like-minded folks to pep up the night with:

- Warm up the festivity with a bonfire. You can never go wrong with a celebratory bonfire on a chilly winter night. Use your terrace or lawn to set up the bonfire and prepare a little in advance to get wood which isn't wet. Arrange chairs around the fire and soak in the warmth with your guests. Sing songs, dance around, pop in popcorn or make it more exciting by roasting yummy marshmallows and by baking jacket potatoes.

- Barbecue - Bring out your barbecue set and cook up some delectable kebabs live for your guests. With some music and wine and voila, the party mood will automatically be set! Nothing like the joy of piping hot snacks in winter. Let your guests feel more involved by letting them handle the skewers. If you wish to put your culinary skills to test, marinate the items yourself or if you want to free yourself from the hassle of entering the kitchen, get pre-marinated food to barbecue.

- Ease the stress with a potluck dinner - Cooking multiple dishes to make the New Year's Eve special for guests can be a daunting task. So, if you are one of those who wants to sit back and enjoy the night and the food by doing the bare minimum, pick up the phone, call up your guests and be shameless enough to ask them to cook up one dish each. It gives your party a variety of food items, taste and a personal touch. It will also give each guest a chance to feel like a bigger part and parcel of the party.

- Drinking games - So you want to get a high? Then do it with a difference! Make your good old board games into drinking games - where your token in a game of snakes and ladders is replaced by a shot of alcohol and you gulp it down if a snake 'bites' you; or when every time you are ousted in a game of Ludo, you drink a shot. These games are full of fun and laughter and will perhaps leave you and your guests with a hangover like none other. What's more? Since you're at home, there's no worry about crashing out right there.

- Cards party. Whoever said playing cards was best kept for Diwali? Hunt for your cards packs and try your luck in poker and traditional teen patti and also experiment with variations like Kissing Missing, AK47, Lallan Kallan, Blackjack and 1942 A Love Story. In case all your guests aren't seasoned cards players, there's no harm done in giving them a crash course. You can choose the easier games for their convenience and don't keep the stakes too high or your guests will run away in no time!

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at radhika.b@ians.in)

--IANS (Posted on 28-12-2013)

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