Niagara Gazette

Extra

December 11, 2008

EXTRA: Ringing in the New Year on a budget

By MEGAN K. SCOTT

Associated Press Writer



No need to spend a fortune on a swanky dinner, admission to an upscale club, a babysitter or a big blowout bash this Dec. 31

Here are some cheap and fun ways to ring in the New Year.

IF YOU WANT TO STAY IN, TRY...

— A clothing swap.

Start the new year with a clean closet and free clothes. Ladies can trade clothes and accessories, says Heather Flett, co-author of "The Rookie Mom's Handbook," who has had several of these parties. Guys can trade video games, CDs and gift cards.

— A spa night.

Have a pampering evening with your close girlfriends, says Maggie Gallant of Rogers & Cowan, a PR firm.

— A game night.

Some of your friends will score a new game or even a new gaming system over the holidays, says Flett. The host is the person with the biggest television.

— A fondue party.

A twist on the traditional potluck. Guests can be assigned specific fondue elements to bring and pots can be rented through a local rental company, says Judy Allen, co-founder of Sensual Home Living.

— A sleepover.

Give the kids a slumber party with a babysitter upstairs, says Angela Gala of Rogers and Gala Creative Partners. Host couple provides hors d'oeuvres. Visiting couples, breakfast. Dinner is take out — and dutch.

— A movie binge.

Sitting in front of the TV is much more fun if you have a mission, says Flett. "Watch all six 'Star Wars' movies or catch up on two seasons worth of 'Mad Men,'" she says.

— A romantic evening.

A take out dinner by candelight with lingerie and soft music. It's fun, romantic and very economical, says love coach Robin Gorman Newman.

IF YOU WANT TO GO OUT, TRY...

— Church

Many evangelical churches, particularly those in African-American communities, have Watch Night services, says Bill J. Leonard, dean and professor of church history at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

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