Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
Before children came into your life, your New Year celebrations may have involved dressing up, staying up late, and indulging in spirits. Do you wistfully recall the annual parties? Are you so desperate for sleep these days, you don’t care what holiday it is?
New Year’s Eve is frequently thought of as a holiday for (young) adults, but the night can still be a blast when celebrating with children.
Time Take time into consideration. If you have young children, you may want to move the clocks ahead so they can experience the delight of 12:00 midnight arriving. Those who live on the west coast can follow along with the east coast countdown. Some parents choose to allow their children to stay up as late as they can. Just make sure you account for what will happen the following day and maybe plan on staying in pj’s all day long.
Decorate Celebrating the New Year is a great holiday for children. Experience it through their eyes. Let your children take part in the decorating, making party hats, and setting a special table. Shiny sparkles - a child’s favorite - is perfect for New Year’s decorating.
Time Capsule One method for making the holiday fun and meaningful is to create a family time capsule. Write down family favorites, highlights from the year, and dreams for the upcoming year. Decorate and seal - to be reopened the following year.
Food Food always makes a celebration special. Step out of the box and do something different. Make fondue. Eat dessert first. Make everyone’s favorite. Celebrate with a whipped cream fight at “midnight”.
Friends Invite other families to your New Year’s celebration. Joining together with friends always increases the joy. Consider hiring a sitter to watch the children in one room while the adults are in another room. Or, allow your children to invite some friends for a sleepover - allowing the friend’s parents to enjoy a night out.
Traditions Start a new and special tradition with your family that can be repeated every year. Have a family slumber party - everyone in sleeping bags in the basement. Make a family toast, addressing the blessings that came from each child through the year. Cuddle up for a night of home movies. I don’t think children ever tire of watching themselves in family movies.
If your New Year celebrating has petered out in recent years, don’t despair. This year, make a resolution to celebrate “big” - with your children. You can never go wrong when you set aside a day for special family time.