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Eight Fun Ways to Ring in 2011

Looking for some fun and festive ways to celebrate the arrival of 2011? Check out our ideas for homemade merrymaking and then share your own. 1)     Host a “Small Bites” Party:  Check out 20 delicious small bites recipes for entertaining. You provide festive drinks, ask guests to bring small bites! 2)     Plan a Neighborhood Progressive:  Connect with neighbors and map out a menu where you’ll walk from house to house and enjoy a different course at each home. Take flashlights and be careful on the walk! 3)     Organize a “Best of 2010” Dinner Party:  Think back on your cooking over the past year. What were some of your new favorite recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques? Collaborate with friends and cooking partners on putting together a dinner menu that incorporates the best of your cooking. Check out our top-rated recipes from 2010 for ideas. 4)     Set up a DIY Sparkling Drinks Bar: Stock up on sparkling wine (stop by the wine department and ask for a recommendation), sparkling cider and sparkling water too. Set up a bar where guests can tailor their own sparkling drink cocktails. Cut slices of citrus and set out a bowl of sugar for sugaring rims of glasses: Just rub a slice of cut orange, lemon or lime around the rim of the glass, then invert the rim into the sugar and twist the glass to coat the rim. Set out pitchers of juices, the more colorful, the better! Think pomegranate, cherry, pink grapefruit and blood orange. Set up a chalkboard or cover a table with brown paper for guests to write down their favorite combinations. 5)     Propose an Old-Fashioned Family Games Night: Invite kids and their parents, and ask everyone to bring a board game. Enlist your kids’ help in planning a dinner and snacks that folks of all ages will enjoy. Set up several card tables and rotate groups of people among games. Come up with fun prizes. Take a break to eat dinner, and make some noise when the ball drops! 6)     Throw a “My Best Recipe” Potluck Dinner:  Invite your foodie friends for a dinner party. Ask guests to prepare their “best” recipe and to bring the recipe on a card to share with the group. The host provides the main course. Non-cooks provide drinks. Vote on the best recipe at the end of the evening. 7)     Get Cozy Fireside: Hunker down by the fire, could be indoors or outdoors, with mugs of hot chocolate.  Share your best moments from 2010 and what you’re looking forward to in 2011. 8)     Celebrate with a New Year’s Brunch: If staying up until midnight isn’t your cup of tea, make a breakfast casserole the night before, then head to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep. In the morning throw together a fruit salad, make a batch of muffins and raise your coffee cup to toast the New Year. How will you be celebrating the arrival of 2011?

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Karen @ Pledging for Change says …

I once had great fun with "Plan a Neighborhood Progressive: Connect with neighbors and map out a menu where you’ll walk from house to house and enjoy a different course at each home. " We ended with 12 small courses some of which had to be so well timed by those who were at the end of the visiting queue.. but it all went really well. It wasnt an organic focus at the time but I have every faith that one could be easily organized around organic food.( OR at least we could set an example)

Neen says …

Thanks so much for your cookie mix in a jar...several weeks ago....I used it and several other recipes of the same kind for gifts for the kids.....and my husband! Everyone loved the convenience of having everything premeasured and everyone loved it!

Adriana says …

Nice list of family oriented recommendations. The holidays are a great time for hot chocolate and games. The Fashioning Change team will be ringing in New Years by working with others to help people protect their health, the Earth, and human rights. We just released our Green 2011 Facebook application. It gives people great green living recommendations like the ones above. You can visit it here: http://gogreen.fashioningchange.com/ Wishing everyone at Whole Foods a very healthy, tasty, and green 2011!

Mary M says …

I will be spending New Year's Eve quietly in my living room with my daughter, son-in-law, and 5 year old granddaughter, ringing in the New Year at Midnight (at least as close as she can get to it for my granddaughter). We'll be sharing wishes for a happy, healthy and fruitful New Year!

Gloria kelly says …

In Czech homes it is traditional to eat herring, either creamed or in wine sauce. Also, very important not not to bicker or argue on New Year's day, as this sets the tone for the new year.

Barry Morgan says …

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