If you plan to ring in the New Year at home with the kids, here are 7 Family New Year’s Eve Ideas with Inspirational Twists! Start early and do them all or pick a couple favorites. These are all activities that we have enjoyed as a family over the years, and some have become traditions!
When the kids were little, it was all about getting them to sleep and then sitting by the fire as Brian and I reflected on the last year. Now we spend time reflecting as a family (see idea 4), and it’s even more rewarding. Someday, when the kids no longer live at home, they’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with friends, but for now … these are the days to cherish.
1. Play a Board Game 1 of 7
2. Break Out the Bubbly 2 of 7
We have these miniature wine glasses that my mom found a few years ago. The kids love to think of any occasion to use those for sparkling cider. The glasses are so small that the kids refill them a dozen times throughout the night and it makes them laugh like crazy. It's always entertaining to see what the kids look forward to that I may have never thought of, so break out the bubbly and toast the family!
3. Dream Together 3 of 7
This idea and the next one are my two favorites. Before the New Year arrives, we spend time dreaming together. The question we ask; "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? And what would you do?" One year, Pascaline said she wanted to jump in the water from a rope swing. \We ended finding the perfect one in Thailand. Three or four years ago, the kids said "The pyramids!" I had no idea how we would ever take our kids to see Egypt's pyramids, but making dreams come true always starts with saying them out loud — taking your dreams out of hiding. You never know where your path may lead once you speak your dream out loud.
4. Edify, Reflect and Forecast 4 of 7
This is my ALL time favorite New Year's Eve tradition. With our family journal, we write down three things about each family member.
1. Edify: We each think of three things we admire about the child/parent.
2. Reflect: We share three ways we've seen the child/parent grow in the last year.
3. Forecast: We share one thing we are excited for them to experience in the new year.
What always takes me by surprise is what the kids have to share. A child's perspective on the past and future is one of the most precious, faith-building gifts of all. Their innocent hearts often see into the future more clearly than we do. I'm often speechless. Everything we share is written down in our family journal to be enjoyed for years to come. Some of these written treasures have taken us to the other side of the world.
5. Relax with a Great Movie 5 of 7
As the midnight hour draws near, spend the last couple hours relaxing on the couch with a great family movie. Mary Poppins is a classic that never grows old in inspiration and wonder. For more wonderful movie ideas, see fellow Babble contributor, Sunny Chanel. She did this amazing post on 23 Inspiring, Wise and Wonderful Quotes from Disney. That is where I got this great photo/quote from. See the rest!
6. Bang Those Pots and Pans! 6 of 7
Pull out the pots and pans and bang away when the New Year's Eve countdown begins. Run down the midnight sidewalks and holler and hoot! Depending on the age of your kids, they will either remember this as the funnest sixty seconds of the year or they will opt out ("because seventh graders don't really want to do that with their parents and little brother" says my daughter).
7. Dance Party! 7 of 7
If you have any energy left after number six, turn on some tunes for a little New Year's Eve dance party. If your spouse looks at you like you are going crazy, smile and hand over the camera. Set the camera to manual mode and raise your ISO if you don't have enough light. Then set your shutter speed to 1/20th or 1/30th sec. This slow shutter speed will capture your dance moves with a slight blur in your motion. This story is not about capturing the details, but the joy.
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