If you plan to be at home with the kids this New Year’s Eve, then join the club. I’ll be sitting this one in (again), but since DS can do a little more this year, I’ll be able to at least introduce him to the notion that this night is all about letting loose and having fun. The following is a list of awesome ways to put a family-friendly spin on a night that is otherwise accompanied by designated drivers and debauchery.
It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without the well-oiled tradition of raising your glass. But this year swap the hors d'oeuvres and champs for cookies and milk – and do serve the latter in flutes. You can go all out and bake your own cookies – perhaps chocolate chip with holiday M&Ms, or the sugar variety covered in colored sprinkles – earlier in the afternoon. If staying up until 12 a.m. is too much for your little one, toast midnight in a different region. Simply choose another country with a time zone ahead of your own, and let the countdown begin! DS and I will be making rainbow rice krispie treats (read: rice krispie treats with food coloring) and toasting with 2% milk.
Hats off to you
This activity is light on the wallet, but heavy on creativity. Swing by your neighborhood dollar store and load up on coned New Year’s Eve party hats – the paper kind that resembles a birthday hat – and while you’re there purchase an assortment of crafts: glitter, glue, streamers, pipe cleaners, etc. Then turn everyone loose to create a masterpiece of their own to be worn that evening. (If you do this, please report back and tell me how it went because we won’t be doing this activity in these parts – there would be more glue in DS’s mouth than on the party hat.)
Seeing into the future
New Year’s Eve is as much about reflection as it is about setting new goals for the twelve months ahead. Why not encourage everyone to design a vision board inspired by their very own affirmations and desires for the New Year? All that’s needed are white poster board, scissors, markers, glue, and an array of magazines for cutting out images. I’ve done this every year since 2008, and I still have them all.
Go on, burst your bubble
Bubble wrap: Chances are, we’ve all got a bit stashed away somewhere, especially during the holidays. Since few occasions call for unabashed celebratory noise like New Year’s Eve bring your bubble wrap out of hiding and let the kids stomp away. Adults can get in on the action, too. Don’t think you can bear the noise? Add some music. While I’d really like to partake in this one, I know DS would flip because he’s not a fan of loud noises. Besides, I’m sure DD would scream her face off upon hearing the first snap, and then I’d have two screaming kids on my hands. No, thanks.
This one is easy-peasy and calls only for pads of colorful post-it notes and a mason jar. Have your family write down their favorite memories of the past year and place them into the jar to share at your New Year's Eve celebration. Not only is this activity fun, it makes for a unique centerpiece at your New Year’s Eve breakfast or evening meal.
Now, this one, I can’t wait to do because DS loves grapes and actually thinks they’re candy! (I don’t know how much longer this will last, but I’m going to ride this until the wheels fall off.) This tradition hails from Spain, where party-goers toast with grape skewers containing twelve grapes, each grape representing the twelve months of the year. Make sure to have enough grapes and skewers for everyone, and as for presentation, place them all in a nice vase prior to the toast.
That’s all I’ve got. No, wait, I have one more thing to say:
I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!!!!
I’ll return on Friday, January 3rd with a brand-spanking-new post, followed by a giveaway!
Thank you for reading Mama Doesn’t Need New Shoes!