In today’s episode, I’m sharing some of my favorite ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve at home in a way your little kids will understand and enjoy, while you can still enjoy a lazy night with fun food, movies and your yoga pants!
It’s Time to Celebrate New Year’s Eve!
So full disclosure, New Year’s Eve is not my favorite holiday. There can be a random pressure that comes with New Years. The pressure to go somewhere, do something fun and special, spend too much money, etc. But then…you’re also parents. Parents don’t have the energy to take that all on, amiright? Staying at home in pajamas, family game night, fun foods, and movie marathons sound real good to me. But I also have a daughter who understands the concept of New Years a little more. She gets it and I want to start making the holiday more memorable for her…while keeping it easy and realistic for me.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing some of my favorite ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve at home in a way your little kids will understand and enjoy!
Fondue for Two…or Three…or Four
Maybe even family fondue? Regardless of what you want to call it, New Year’s Eve at our house means fondue. I use Tyler Florence’s recipe but there are many recipes online. I also use a fondue pot, but have made it in a sauce pan on the stove before and it’s been great! Going shoppers for the dipper is super fun too! We love honey crisp apples, soft pretzels, potatoes, broccoli, and bread. Basically anything that sounds good with cheese (so everything).
After the cheese, comes the chocolate of course. This is where we really go to town on the dippers. I usually change the chocolate up too. Add coffee liqueur, orange liqueur, salted caramel, even broil some marshmallows and add those to the top! Dip anything and everything into this pool of greatness.
We’ve been having fondue for two for New Year’s Eve for as long as I can remember. It’s one of my favorite traditions my husband and I share. Try it out and see what you think! It’s something super fun, unique and a little special!
Celebrate with the East Coast
We are a super scheduled family who values routine, and we’re not quite ready to attempt the super late night, so something new we are going to do with Evie this year is watch the East Coast countdown and celebrate at 9 vs midnight. It’ll be something super fun and special for her to stay up just with us and not her brother, and she’ll love listening to the music, watching the fireworks and the ball drop in Times Square!
I’m excited to experience that with her. And then when she goes to bed…chocolate fondue and movies for us! I’m pretty sure we will celebrate that way for as long as we can, because I enjoy that alone time with my husband on New Years also! As much as I love my kids, it’s fun to celebrate with them and then without them as well.
If you are an East Coast person, maybe you can celebrate with a different country OR you can do a fun celebrate at noon! Still plan your fun night and dinner, but do something a little special with confetti poppers or a dance party at noon rather than late at night!
I’ve seen a bunch of pictures of these balloon activity clocks. Like it’s a big circle made of balloons, each written with a time on them, and then when it’s that time in the night, you pop the balloon and there’s a game or activities inside. I’m going to put a spin on this a bit because my kids would HATE being startled by a balloon…and I’m not motivated enough to make a clock out of balloons…but I can stuff a note inside of a little bag haha! I’m going to get little bags and put a note of an easy activity to do with the kids that’s entertaining but makes it feel like a present. I’m also thinking of ways on how I’ll incorporate their new toys into this to make sure we’re actually playing with them.
Some of my ideas:
-play one of your new games
-make a confetti popper
-put a puzzle together
-read one of your new books
-watch a show
-make a New Year’s card for your grandparents
Let’s face it, NYE can be a long day. We need some things to fill the time, and you are most likely already going to be playing with your kids, so go the extra step by setting a timer and each time it goes off, your kid gets to open their next countdown activity. I know my kids would get a total kick out of that, and it’s also nice for me because we don’t need to have that “I’m bored” situation that’ll drive me insane knowing they just got 50,000 new things to play with! Win win for all!
Reflecting on 2018
We’re a family that is big on acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments and milestones. Now that my daughter remembers experiences a bit more, I’m excited to dive back into some of the new things we did during the year. Think about the memories that are sitting in your phone. You know the pics you took and then didn’t do anything with? This is the time, mama!
Plug your phone or iPad into your TV if you can, go to January and start talking and laughing about your family experiences. Ask open ended questions like “remember when…” “how did you feel when we…” “what do you remember what this day…” Kids are OBSESSED with looking at pictures and watching videos of themselves. Once you go through some of the pics and reflect, pull out some conversation starter cards and ask some questions. I’m going to print out some reflection cards I found on Pinterest. It’s fun to go down memory lane but then also remember what the experiences and moments meant. Things like what was your favorite family date we did? What was something you were proud of? What made you laugh this year? What is something new you want to try next year? I think seeing the pics before will help jog kids memory of some of these things, but you can do whatever works for your family!
I wanted to figure out a way that we could look back on the year as a family, have a fun conversation and share stories but in a way that the kids will understand and be able to do at their age. I think this one will be it for us, and I see it being a fun tradition that will only get more meaningful as they get older!
Next week I’ll be back with a New Years part 2 episode, where I’ll go more in depth on how my family (and my husband and I) start the year strong, do some family goal setting where we involve the kids, and what we’re looking forward to in the new year!
Happy New Year, my friend!
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