Like everyone else, I cannot wait for this year to end. I wish that at the stroke of midnight, everything would be magically better. Even though I know that can’t happen, I still want to celebrate. This seems like the perfect year to re-create a New Year’s Eve tradition in my father’s family of reading the poem “Ring Out Wild Bells” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and I decided to create a little party around it.
Please read this poem and tell me if it isn’t absolutely right for 2020:
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Whew. I almost feel like I could recite this as a daily prayer, you know? I like it so much, I created some free printables for you!
- Ring Out Wild Bells Sign (8.5″ x 11″ size)
- Ring Out Wild Bells Poem (8.5″ x 11″ size)
- New Year’s Resolution Cards (5″ x 7″ size, prints two on a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet)
Bairnwick, my father’s childhood home, was a formal, traditional place, but also filled with eight children, so you know it had to be barely controlled chaos most of the time. But with that in mind, I went for a high-low look, combining good silver with paper and plastic. My theme for this year has been: use what I have.
And while this party is just for the four of us, I set the whole table because I MISS OTHER PEOPLE.
To the mirror above my sideboard, I arranged a set of paper fans, which were a $10 find from Tuesday Morning. When I find party items there, I scope them up and find a use for them later. These are easy to hang using 3M Command Strips.
On top of the fans, I added a New Year’s Eve banner left over from this New Year’s Eve Movie Night Party.
I attached the “Ring Out Wild Bells” printable to the large letter board using pop-up glue dots, then decorated each corner with a 3-D glitter star sticker.
To create a simple dessert tray, I use a gold tone silver tray, and added:
- A little clock to help us count down to midnight
- Sparkling grape juice
- Jelly Bellies
- Brownie bites
- 7-layer bars
- Vanilla and chocolate cupcakes
For charcuterie board tips, see these two posts:
I started the dining table with a gray with black mini dot fabric, folded and used a a table runner. Then I draped three gold sequin table runners horizontally. Down the center of the table, I added a variety of white candles and a floral arrangement.
The place settings were gold charger, then ironstone plate, then plastic dessert place. Each cheers glass also had a little gold disco ball drink stirrer, left over from my St. Patrick’s Day Party.
At each place, I added a small gold bell, sparklers and paper for resolutions. You could also add hats and a die cut “2021” to each plate.
We’re pretty low-key about New Year’s Eve. We’ll read “Ring Out Wild Bells” and at midnight, ring our little bells and light our sparklers.
I chose pencils for the resolutions instead of pens because, come on. What even are plans anymore?
The flowers are my design made from a large bouquet of grocery store flowers. I used my silver rose bowl (similar to this one). The frog style top makes it easy to keep flowers in place.
For more New Year’s Eve party inspiration, check out these parties:
I just had to share this with you: my little helper. Keeping him off the table is half the party prep battle!
I hope you have a happy and safe new year — and thank you for hanging out with me here this year!
- Party styling and photography: The Party Teacher
- Paper fans:
- New Year’s Eve banner: Earle’s Folly
- Star garland: Target Christmas collection
- Cheers glasses: Target dollar aisle
- Gold forks: Target
- Black dot fabric: Fabric.com
- Gold sequin runners: Floratouch
- Gold bells: Amazon
- Gold trimmed plastic plates: Party City
- Gold striped napkins: Cohasset Party Supply on Etsy
- White letter board: Heidi Swapp
- Black letter board: Elemotto on Etsy
- Gold chargers: Hobby Lobby
- Sweets: Kroger