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You are cordially invited... New year is the one time of the year when you have the perfect excuse to throw the glitziest party ever so it's essential you get things just right. Clare Jobson sees 2008 in with a bang.

Byline: Clare Jobson

I WON'T preach about hosting parties, but I really think there's no better way to get everyone in the mood than by planning a theme. Diamonds and white tie may be a little out of your price range but that's no reason not to miss out on the glamour and the glitz.

It's important not to make your party too elitist - it's the Christmas season, which means many fancy dress costumes will already be hired out. Best make your party theme something everyone can take part in and at short notice, too.

A party which has a fun theme running through it may be more up your street - like getting everyone to dress up as pantomime characters, or elves and pixies if you're after more of a festive theme.

But whatever the theme, it's important to make sure your house goes with it, and it should extend into every room your guests are allowed into - so that includes the downstairs toilet!

Glitz is always good as it gives the ladies a chance to go to town with a new frock, and for the men to look dashing in a tux.

Black and gold has always been a winner and is so opulent and dramatic - great for tying in with a festive celebration.

If you are going for a sit-down do, then give your table a decadent touch by layering black and gold table cloths and runners on top of one another to give the table some depth. Golden name cardholders are a simple yet striking addition to this look. Scatter gold stars or shaped confetti over the table and around the general entertaining area - worry about the tidying up in January! A striking table centrepiece can be made by placing a dark wooden or black glass bowl and filling it with fruit covered in gold leaf. Edible glitter looks great too and means the food won't go to waste either!

Throwing purple into the colour scheme also works brilliantly here, and will add a bit of richness and cheeriness to any room. You'll have to make sure your rooms are very bling and seductive. As a temporary measure, I suggest even pinning up some temporary wallpaper to act as a backdrop - your friends will think you've gone to an incredible effort!

Another great decorative piece that is simple and easy to make is to arrange a selection of baubles (depending on your colour scheme) in different shapes and sizes on a glass cake stand.

The majority of shops will now be selling Christmas decorations half price so you can go to town on buying baubles, tinsel and even candles and glassware. As this is more of a grown-up theme, then lots of seductive fairy lights trailed about the house will instantly transform any room, and are great for creating an atmosphere.

Remember the fun element and stock up on party poppers, streamers and, most importantly, champagne! After making sure that all family heirlooms are safely locked away and any awkward furniture moved, pop on some music and get those drinks flowing.

Whatever your party theme, make sure yours is the best dressed in town and start off 2008 with the loudest bang possible. Happy New Year!

CAPTION(S):

Cheers, cheers: Making sure your guests are kept constantly topped up will get you one step closer to being the hostess with the mostest.; Golden touch: Filling bowls with fruit covered in gold leaf makes a striking centrepiece.; Go to town: The majority of shops will now be selling baubles and lights at half price.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2007
Words:596
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