I love decorating with items that have other uses than just decoration. For my friends baby shower we incorporated her gift into part of the decor. You can do this with glassware, gifts, games, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Here is a great example of this for your New Year's celebrations.
For a fun and functional centerpiece, gather your noisemakers and display them on a cake plate. Fill the gaps with shiny tinsel and you have a double duty centerpiece. Your guests won't have to look far for a noisemaker when the countdown begins!
(photo from marthastewart.com)