The idea of fresh starts and new chances appeals to everyone. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a brand new day, when past trials and problems can be forgotten and there’s nowhere to go but up? People embrace New Year’s Eve and its implications worldwide, but not everyone wants to spend the occasion dining out or dancing until dawn. You can spend it with your family, cherishing what’s important and shrugging off what’s not.
Dress to the Nines
Break out your finest dress and slide on that perfect pair of Parigi Black Sparkle pumps. Let your kids choose for themselves, even if their selections are a little off the wall. J-Shawny Riding Boots with your daughter’s best frilly party dress? No problem. Dinner can also suit your family’s tastes. Go upscale in the dining room with sparkling apple cider “champagne,” or set up an appetizer smorgasbord on the coffee table so you can nosh away while playing board or video games.
Start a Time Capsule Tradition
Pose for the camera while you’re all decked out in your New Year’s finery. Have everyone write down one or more memorable moments from the year. Maybe your son scored his first touchdown last fall. Did the cat have kittens? Get a picture of her, too, or ask one of your younger kids to draw a picture of the feline family. Gather everything in a waterproof box or container and bury it in the backyard or store it in the attic or basement until next year. When New Year’s rolls around again, you can open the box to enjoy the memories and swap that box out for a new updated one.
Celebrate NYE Around the World
Midnight in Japan is 11 a.m. in New York and 8 a.m. in California; midnight in England is 6 p.m. in Chicago. You can look up the exact hours online or on your smartphone and celebrate when the calendar flips over in various places around the world. This is a good way to include little ones who can’t keep their eyes open until it’s midnight where you are.
Set alarms to chime each time the New Year arrives in another country and enjoy traditional celebrations of those countries. When it’s midnight in Spain, everyone can nosh down on 12 grapes, one for each chime of the clock, to ensure good luck in each of the 12 upcoming months. When New Year’s Eve arrives in Japan, laugh and laugh hard – that’s the tradition there. Celebrate midnight in Chile by tucking money in Dad’s Perry Ellis Craig Chukka Boots or your son’s Perry Ellis Lawrence Oxfords for prosperity in the New Year.
Decorate With Resolutions
It can feel anticlimactic when the huge buildup for the December holidays is behind you and another year’s celebrations are over. Ease into January by leaving the tree up, but removing the decorations except for the lights. Adorn it with each family member’s New Year’s resolutions, attaching hand-written notes with ornament hangers in lieu of balls. Mom and Dad can promise to schedule at least one date night a month. The kids might aim for taking some time off from the TV or computer to engage in outdoor activities. When the tree finally comes down, move the notes to another location to keep everyone motivated for the year – maybe tacked to a bulletin board or saved in a cookie jar.
Today’s Parent: 7 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Kids
PBS Parents: New Year’s Eve, Family Style
Travel and Leisure: World’s Strangest New Year Traditions
Family Education: 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate New Year’s with the Family
Pangea Collection: New Year’s Eve and Day Traditions Around The World: Chile
About the Author
Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels, including women’s fiction and children’s books, and has an extensive background in family law.