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Posted: Friday December 30, 2011, 11:59 AM
By ERINN CONNOR of The Record

When you’re counting down the seconds to the new year, you have to make sure you’re properly equipped. Sparkly party hat? Check. Glasses that spell out 2012? Check. Party poppers? Check. There are a multitude of accessories to don or decorate with as the clock strikes midnight. We found some essential (and wacky) party favors at North Jersey stores to prepare you for your New Year’s Eve celebration:

Hats

A staple of the New Year’s party, the hat can be anything from your standard cone shape to the outlandish light-up lampshade that reads "Light up the night on New Year’s!" If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, or for your toddler, there’s a mini gold-glitter top hat with "Happy New Year!" emblazoned on the front. Other festive options include a feather mask or a bejeweled tiara.

Noisemakers

When the clock strikes midnight, if you’re not kissing that special someone, you should be making a lot of noise. This can range from the innocuous party horn to a blaring vuvuzela. If you want to be more festive, Silly String can be a little messy, but a party popper can announce the new year with a bang of confetti.

Necklaces

New Year’s and Mardi Gras share an affinity for beaded necklaces, though the New Year’s versions tend to be fancier. There are, of course, the traditional multi-colored beads, but why be boring when you can hang a star that blinks frenetically around your neck? If you’re looking for something even crazier, you can wear a shot glass on a string, guaranteeing you’ll never go thirsty.

Table settings

There are plenty of decorations that make your home look like a miniature Times Square. Make your snack table the center of attention with a spray centerpiece in festive gold, black and silver, or get mini plastic champagne flutes for your guests to clink at midnight. That’s not to mention the paper plates, napkins, tablecloths and other accoutrements available. Party Box in Lodi sells "New Year’s Eve party kits" for groups of 10 and up that come with hats, plates, confetti and more.

Glasses

One classic New Year’s accessory is a pair of glasses announcing the year that’s about to come. While 2012 isn’t practical for two round lenses, there are still plenty of options. You can go with the standard cardboard ones you slip on as the countdown begins. For a flashier effect, you can go a little more high-tech and get some light-up, blinking glasses.

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