I haven’t been out on New Year’s Eve in nine years, since I was pregnant with my oldest child. I used to get dressed up and crowd on in to the fun party, bar, etc. on December 31st each year; where I am from we used to refer to New Year’s Eve as Amateur Night and I can honestly say I have had more fun these past eight years at home than during all of those nights out with the masses. My husband and I have had years where we have had one family over, a few families over, or it has just been our family and we ring in the new year from home. This is a great way to celebrate the exiting year and welcome the new one. Here are some ways to celebrate New Years with your kids:
Early countdown. My kids are little (8, 6 and 5), so staying up until midnight is not an option - although they could probably outlast me. It is fun to have an early countdown with the kids at 9pm or whatever time you designate. Get out the hats and noisemakers, get some balloons, pour the sparkling cider (grown ups can indulge in the real stuff if you wish) and count down to the pretend midnight. Your kids will love this.
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Take an family evening walk. Where we live it is dark at 5pm at this time of year so taking a family walk after dark is easy. Take flashlights or if you can swing it - sparklers are fun too. Most people still have their Christmas lights on display which is fun for the kids to check out.
Talk about some of the highlights of the past year and what is coming up in 2009. It is fun to reflect - for example, in 2008 my kids learned how to ski, my younger daughter learned how to ride a two-wheeler, all three kids are in school all day (every day!). Everyone can talk about what they want to do in the upcoming year and what we have to look forward to - trips, activities in school, summertime plans, major birthdays, etc.
Happy New Year and enjoy!