This January, I went the best New Year's Eve party I have ever been to. I wanted to share my experience because the party was so excellent.
It was put on by the owners of the company I work for. He rented a ballroom at a local hotel and decorated it like a Las Vegas casino. Blinking lights mirrors were everywhere. There were tables Craps, Black Jack, Poker tables and a Roulette wheel and professional dealers tending each. Waiters and waitresses brought drinks to the guests and there was a lavish buffet set up on either side of the room.
Gambling is illegal in our state, so the chips were cashed in for prizes instead of money. The prizes were brought by the guests and were of a "white elephant" nature. Which meant they were either something interesting, but essentially useless or something off-beat or just plain silly. I brought a box of those magnets with single words on them so you could write poetry or even psyocobabble on your fridge door. Each "white elepahant" gift was wrapped in a different colored foil wrapping paper according to its dollar value range. Everyone could either opt to keep the prize they unwrapped or take a gift they liked away from one of the other guests until midnight. Everyone was told they had to keep their prize in plain view, but I think a few people started hiding them around the midnight deadline. I got a Jalapeno-shaped travel alarm clock, but it got stolen away by another guest so I had to cash in some more chips and got a plush toy Pikachu which I hid under my jacket until midnight. The neatest thing about this party was that all the money we spent on gambling would go to charity.
A photographer wandered around the casino taking pictures of everyone having a good time. I took some pictures with the camera I brought.
Of course, no Las Vegas casino would be complete without a show, so a magician came out on a small stage and performed some amazing tricks. He threw something up in the air that crackled and sparked, like a miniature fireworks and disappeared in a puff of smoke at the end of his performance.
Just before the stroke of midnight plastic flutes of Champagne were passed around to all the guests and everyone counted down and shouted, "Happy New Year!" Hundreds of black and silver balloons were released from the ceiling while "Auld Lang Sine" played on the speakers.
When I left around 2A.M. the party was still going strong, but I was very tired so I took my plush friend home and went to bed.