Family New Year’s Celebrations: Ring in the New Year Together!

by Laura Wallis | Follow Her on Twitter Here

family new year celebrationsRemember when you would get all dressed up and ring in the New Year dancing the night away? If you’re like me, those days are over and instead you are looking forward to family New Year’s celebrations. Here are some ideas to make it a night to remember.

1.  Have a game night. This is one of the best ways to pass the time waiting for the magical hour to arrive. Maybe your kids got a new game over the holidays or maybe you want to pull out old favorites or buy a new one. I love teaching my kids card games — why not get a [easyazon-link asin=”B000BXHOYQ” locale=”us”]special new deck[/easyazon-link] for the occasion? Other favorites that are good for all ages are: [easyazon-link asin=”B00421AGHA” locale=”us”]Beat the Parents[/easyazon-link]; [easyazon-link asin=”B00112CHD4″ locale=”us”]Apples to Apples[/easyazon-link] and [easyazon-link asin=”1932188126″ locale=”us”]Bananagrams[/easyazon-link].

[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B000BXHOYQ” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QPhS3CTjL._SL160_.jpg” width=”114″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B00421AGHA” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5152825JvyL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B00112CHD4″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HrW537S1L._SL160_.jpg” width=”156″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”1932188126″ locale=”us” height=”116″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bcoyUhg%2BL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B008VLRY6I” locale=”us” height=”137″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41W1KOYs2JL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]2.  Start a tradition — any tradition. Sometimes the goofier the tradition is the better. Maybe everyone has to wear their favorite outfit on New Year’s Eve. Or maybe you pull out [easyazon-link asin=”B008VLRY6I” locale=”us”]the karaoke[/easyazon-link] and sing the top 10 songs of the year. Maybe you look back on old photos or home movies. Ask your kids to think of something that sounds like a blast and ta da, as easy as that you can call it your family tradition.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B00018RR48″ locale=”us” height=”142″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HAPjD%2BZXL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]3.  Plan a special meal. To me, nothing says “party” like finger foods. I ask the kids what their favorite hors d’oeuvres are and make sure I have them available. We picnic on the floor and the kids love eating with their hands! Or, have a [easyazon-link asin=”B00018RR48″ locale=”us”]fondue dinner[/easyazon-link]. Melted cheese is amazing with bread, carrots and apples. Then of course, finish with a chocolate treat and dunk in marshmallows, pretzels and strawberries.

4.  Take down the tree. This doesn’t sound festive, but you can make it so! Put on a movie or some music in the background for a dance party. Take turns taking down ornaments and telling the story of where they came from. Usually there’s so much excitement putting up the tree that you don’t stop to reflect, and New Year’s Eve is a perfect time. I guarantee nothing will feel better than to come down on January 1 and be greeted by a house that has been swept clean of “holiday.” A literal “clean slate!”

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0000DDVN7″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41xPtuaxDSL._SL160_.jpg” width=”116″]5.  Share favorite memories and then start a [easyazon-link asin=”B0000DDVN7″ locale=”us”]memory jar[/easyazon-link]. Go around the table as many times as it takes to relive fave memories. Then, to make it even better for next year, start a memory jar. Put it somewhere prominent in the house and encourage people to write down special things, big or small, along with their name and the date. Next New Year’s Eve, you can pass the jar around and read them one by one.

6.  Interview your kids. Get out the video recorder or even your smart phone and make a video of your kids answering questions about the year from the sports or activities they enjoyed to their favorite foods and memories. What a fun keepsake for years to come.

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B00EXOFAHC” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31F0SMBSKTL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]7.  Toast at midnight — whatever time you want it to be. Who says you have to celebrate at midnight in your time zone? Pick one you like and go for it! Or, I am not above switching the clocks if need be! Toast with festive glasses and a sparkling age-appropriate beverage.

8.  Have a birthday party. Happy Birthday to the New Year! Sure, you could buy [easyazon-link asin=”B000R4KKZY” locale=”us”]special party goods for New Year’s[/easyazon-link], but why not turn it into a birthday party! I drag out all the unused party supplies from other events through the year and bake a birthday cake. Of course we sing and blow out candles.

[easyazon-image align=”center” asin=”B000R4KKZY” locale=”us” height=”91″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/319hV-vzjpL.jpg” width=”500″]

9.  Bang pots and pans.  Your neighbors will love this one! At midnight, go outside and clang pots and pans together. I bet more people will join you! Maybe create an impromptu parade!

10.  Enjoy a southern tradition with black eyed peas. Long believed to bring luck and prosperity in the New Year, black eyed peas can be integrated into a number of dishes, such as Hoppin’ John.  And don’t forget to cook up some collard greens, cabbage or substitute some steamed kale- my Southern friends say it is supposed to make you rich in the new year-so good luck!

11.  Make resolutions. You knew this one was going to show up, but it is a great way to end the year and look forward to the new one. Have each person write down their resolutions and then switch papers around and guess who made which one. Keep them in a special envelope and every month or so, return to them to see how everyone is doing. A little accountability can go a long way to positive, permanent change.

What about your family? Share some of your favorite family New Year’s celebrations below!

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