Ring in the New Year: Tips from pros in The Woodlands help you nail it

By: Kim Morgan
| Published 12/28/2018

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Christmas has come and gone, which means it's now time to think about the new year. Go easy on yourself with these tips on how to reuse what you already have, while at the same ringing in 2019 with as little stress as possible.

Décor

Vicky Gordon of Room for Change said re-purposing holiday ornaments in a bowl is a beautiful way to create New Year's Eve table centerpieces.

"It's something that shimmers, especially when doing gold and silver parties," Gordon said. "Metallic colors are always in. Black and white mixed with metallic is always a hit … and metallic with a bold color is a new trend."

For something unique, reuse Christmas paper to make your own New Year's Eve poppers. Fill them with candy and confetti, Gordon said, and then pull them at midnight. The confetti itself can be made of shredded holiday paper. Here's how to make DIY holiday poppers.

Food

Thanksgiving and Christmas are within weeks or each other, which can lead to turkey and ham overload. But there are ways to revamp your leftovers for a New Year's Eve hit.

Lisa Matthys of Honeybee Ham said ham and turkey can be revamped to make mini sandwiches or mini croissants with a variety of dipping sauces for hors d'oeuvres.

Get creative with sauces, from honey mustard to spicy Dijon.

Small servings of baked-potato soup, black-eyed beans and cornbread will round out the menu, she said.

Leftover ham is versatile, so if a New Year's Day brunch is more your style, eggs benedict with hollandaise is a sure hit. You can even bake mini-portions in muffin tins. Serve with mimosas, Bloody Mary's, sangria, or a simple non-alcohol mixture of orange juice and ginger ale.

Drink

Champagne is a given on New Year's Eve, but if you want to take it up a notch, bring out your inner bartender. It can be as simple as adding fruit-flavored vodka to seltzer, or as crafty as flower-infused flavors combined with spirits.

Ruben Campos, executive chef and general manager at Jasper's in The Woodlands, said this "Barrel-aged Old Fashioned" is a surefire hit. Combine Amador bourbon, Angostura bitters, vanilla, sugar and orange zest.

Add ice -- but not too much, because you don't want to dilute the flavor – and garnish with orange peel.

New Year's Day

It's done, it's over, now it's time to pack it up until next year.

Kelsey Morrill of Amazing Spaces said the best way to not be overwhelmed by the chore is to be prepared.

"Have the right tools in hands," Morrill said. "That means the right boxes or containers to help you organize for next year."

A dish or glass pack is perfect for delicate ornaments.

"You simply put them in and they will be safe and secure, and also protect from falls," Morrill said. "It's basically little sleeves you stick the ornaments in to keep them safe and secure when you store them."

Morrill said that climate-controlled storage is the safest best for Christmas trees, clothing and decorations, especially in our humid environment.

"You definitely want climate-controlled storage," she said. "Make sure there's a vent going into the space itself."

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