Just as you finish up Christmas, New Years is only a week away. Here are some fun ideas to help you ring in the New Year.

Good Fortune Tree

Don’t take down that Christmas tree yet. Turn it into a fun New Year’s Decoration!

  • Leftover Christmas tree, undecorated
  • Balloons, 6″ to 8″
  • Chinese fortunes or wishes, typed on small pieces of paper
  • One-dollar bills
  • Ribbon
  • String confetti
  • Happy New Year’s hat

Remove the Christmas ornaments and lights from your tree and replace them with small balloons filled with New Year’s wishes, Chinese fortunes, and dollar bills. Place the wish, fortune, or money inside the uninflated balloon and blow it up.

Tie the balloons to the tree with ribbon, being careful not to pop them. Finish decorating the tree with string confetti and a Happy New Year’s hat.

As the New Year rings in, guests can pop the balloons and claim the wishes, fortunes, and money inside. Your guests will love this unique twist on the party favor.

Noise Makers

These noisemakers are far more entertaining than the ones you can buy in the store.

Use a two-liter plastic pop bottle filled with small buttons or dry beans to make a new Years; noisemaker. Decorate the outside of each bottle with felt, lace, buttons, ribbons, and bows. The bottleneck makes the handle.

Another idea is to put a few dry beans or small rocks in an empty aluminum pop can and tape the hole shut. Cut a piece of wrapping paper twice as wide as the circumference of the can. Roll the can in the paper, secure with tape, and tie the ends with ribbon.

Cranberry Ice

Fresh cranberries will keep well in the refrigerator for up to two months.

  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 quart water
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Boil cranberries, sugar, and 2 cups water together in a saucepan until berries pop. Process in a blender until smooth. Add lemon juice, 2 cups water, and orange peel.

Freeze in a plastic container. Remove from the freezer about 1 hour before serving. Slush with a fork or in the blender. Serves 4 to 6