How do you celebrate the New Year when you have kids?
We’ve never really been ones for going out much and since having our eldest child 17 years ago, it’s not something that’s really crossed our minds.
While the oldest children were tiny, New Year for us generally consisted of trying to stay awake until midnight (and often failing miserably!).
New Year for us is also our Anniversary. We met at a New Years Party 18 years ago now, so Anniversary celebrations have usually played a part in our New Years celebrations. For us, this consists of a meal (at home) separate from the kids. We usually all eat together as a family so it’s a bit of a novelty, and we treat ourselves to something nice that we don’t eat often, like a nice curry (although our meal is usually interrupted by the youngest children who show up to ‘help’ us finish our meal!).
As the children have gotten older, they have been interested in seeing in the New Year themselves, so a few years ago now we began our tradition of a Family Movie Night and Midnight Feast.
After dinner on New Years Eve, we all gather in the living room and kick off our celebrations with The Memory Jar, literally a Jar of memories that we have written down throughout the year. We pass the Jar around, each reading out a Memory from the year, until the Jar is empty, ready to start another year. It’s a great way of focusing on the positives from the year rather than dwelling on the negatives, and is a lovely way of reminding ourselves of things we had forgotten about.
Next, everyone gets changed into their pyjamas and we gather again for Movie Night. We try to keep a few new films aside to watch on this night, as new films will hold the kids attention for longer. As we have multiple age ranges of children we try to have one that is more of a children’s/family film (This year we have the remake of Pete’s Dragon), this will be the first one we watch, and often the younger children will fall asleep after the first film. We then have one a bit more suited for the older children, but still family-friendly (this year we have Independence Day : Resurgence, as the kids loved the first film). As well as the movies, we will have an array of snacks that everyone just sits munching on throughout the evening.
At midnight we sit and watch the Fireworks on TV, as well as the displays our neighbours put on, before everyone heads to bed.
It may not be a glamorous celebration, but we enjoy it and the kids love just being able to stay up so late.
After a leisurely lay-in on New Years Day, we will then have a lovely roast dinner as a family to celebrate the first day of the New Year.
The next day we will be off to the local Pantomime with other family members, as our last celebration before back to work and school, and everyday life. Christmas well and truly over.
Our celebrations may seem small but they’re a big deal to us and something we look forward to every year.
So how about you? How do you celebrate New Year? Especially those of you with children, I’d love to know how other families celebrate…..
From our house to yours, we wish you all a very Happy New Year xxxxxxxx