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Throw a vintage-style New Year's Eve party

Dec. 30, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

It's about time to close out 2012 and begin again with 2013. Some of us will quietly turn the calendar and some of us will party down and shred it. Then there are those who will want to take a nostalgic look back and remember 'how it was.' If you are in the latter category then there are some props available that will enhance that experience for a party.

Dressing for the occasion is the first order of business, and if you don't have any 'rags' from another decade try your local antique store. They may have a wonderful beaded purse or a flapper dress or even a top hat to give a little pizzazz to your party attire.

Don't forget the party hats from the 1960s that were all decked out with glitter, feathers and fringe. These might be hard to find since they weren't meant to survive the party but they could be easily duplicated if you are a crafty soul. Find some checkerboard or brightly striped paper and add some crepe paper fringe and you are there.

Now add in a few tin noisemakers from the mid 20th Century and the party is on. Often these can be found in the party aisle of your local big box store if the real thing isn't available. What might be fun is to print out a history of them to attach to the reproduction - conversation starters before singing "Auld Lang Syne" is always a good thing.

For entertainment YouTube has some great vintage film clips depicting New Year's Eve. They are priceless and great fun to watch whether you are with a group or by yourself. In the background play some big band music, some ragtime or just some rock and roll to set the tone.

Set the table with your antique tableware -- use those pretties -- don't always leave them on the shelf. Then display a few antique post cards that have their own stories to tell -- again great conversation pieces. As you toast in the New Year think of those who went before you and did the same with that very wine glass so many years ago. Celebrate them by having a good time with their party favors and table best. Have a happy and safe New Year.

Jean McClelland writes about antiques for The Herald-Dispatch.