As a parent you might rue not being able to party all night on December 31, but there are some great ways to celebrate New Year with the kids so you feel you’ve still done justice to the holiday. And as much as you might miss raucous adult gatherings with lashings of alcohol, you’ve got responsibilities now – and do you really want the hassle of trying to find a sitter on one of the busiest nights of the year? Instead, embrace the fact you’re a loving, wonderful family and kick off 2015 with style with these ways to celebrate New Year with the kids.
1 Have a Family Slumber Party
Sure, it might not have been the way you celebrated in the old days, but it's one of the great ways to celebrate New Year with the kids. Get some videos, pop some popcorn, and break out the board games and the sleeping bags. If you can fit it in the living room, go ahead and erect a tent or make a fort out of blankets. Roast marshmallows in the oven (if you have older kids), or gather round and tell your best scary stories. Giggle about things that happened over the previous year and share your hopes for the coming year.
2 Throw a Party
Sure, the little ones probably won’t hold out till midnight, but it's midnight somewhere, right? Watch the London fireworks – the time difference makes it convenient! Make party hats, tiaras, or some other fun headgear. Dress up in sparkly, fun clothes. Dance around the garage or living room to your kids' favorite music. Make a disco ball piñata and drop it at midnight, earlier if the little ones can’t last till the 12 o’clock hour. Make noisemakers out of pennies in soda cans, beads in water bottles, or other imaginative creations. Even babies will love this celebration!
3 Dinner and a Movie (or Two!)
First, have a great dinner that your kids will really enjoy. Chicken nuggets? Why not? How about pizza? Even for the most health-conscious people, a nice pizza pie once or twice a year is acceptable. Then, break out the movies. Choose several your kids really enjoy. Or better yet, break out the HOME movies. Take some time to watch the last year of your life, surrounded by the people you love most. Don’t forget the popcorn!
4 Try Some Fun Meals
Make some meals that feel like snacks. Try fondue selections like cheese dips with soft bread, or have a regular dinner with a chocolate fondue dessert. Wiener wraps can have a selection sauces, from specialty mustards and flavored ketchups to sweet and sour or some other flavor kids love. Make tiny hamburgers that are bite sized, or meatball kabobs. Use your imagination!
5 Borrow a COLOMBIAN Tradition
Build a life size (or nearly life size) dummy made of paper or cardboard and call it “The Old Year (el Año Viejo).” Paint clothes on it or paste pieces of old clothing from everyone in the family. Get everyone to write down either their faults or some bad luck that has happened during the year. At midnight, tear The Old Year to shreds. If you have a fireplace or stove, burn the pieces in it. Make a celebration of letting go of the old year and looking forward to the new one. Kids will love this!
6 Borrow a Greek Tradition
Maybe the Colombian tradition seems a little harsh. How about the Greek tradition of making a good luck cake? The Vasilopita, or New Year’s cake, is baked with a coin or a charm hidden inside. At midnight, cut the cake, and whoever gets the charm or coin will have good luck throughout the year. A fun and sweet tradition kids will love.
7 Go to a Ski Resort
Yeah, it may seem like the easy way out, but think of all it has to offer. Skiing and other fun on the slopes with your kids, along with amenities that ski resorts often offer on New Year’s, like buffet dinners (everyone gets what they want!), accommodations, maybe a little inner tubing down the hills, and often, a great fireworks display right about midnight.
I’d have loved to experience some of these ways to celebrate the New Year when I was a kid. When I was growing up, it was always a kinda thing that Christmas was for the kids and New Year was for the adults. How do you do things in your family? Do you all celebrate together?
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