Last year, most of us stayed in for New Year’s with no idea how to celebrate at home. We made it up as we went, stumbling through the holiday in pajamas while eating hoppin’ john straight out of the slow cooker. In years past, many parents opted for a babysitter while hitting the town, dressed in glitz and watching the blazing fireworks with a glass of champagne. In 2020, it seemed fitting to settle for red plastic cups of decent Prosecco after the kids fell asleep.
This year, the kids are a little older. And it may still be the best option to stay in — a decision made easier if you’re staying in your brand-new home in Amira. So why not celebrate in your beautiful new home in style? There are many creative ways to throw a swinging celebration at home with the kids. Imagine getting all dressed up, having a sumptuous dinner, making merry with fancy drinks (non-alcoholic for the kids), and watching fireworks (on TV). Plus, it’s easier on the wallet than a night out!
Some holidays, like New Year’s Eve, are more geared toward adults than kids. If you’re opting to stay home this year, and you’re not sure how to celebrate the New Year with the kiddos, you’re in luck. We have some great suggestions that the kids will love.
Make a Mocktail
This mocktail punch is an oldie but a goodie: Fun Punch. Simply pour two large cans of pineapple juice, two tubes of frozen OJ, and a 2 liter of lemon-lime soda pop or ginger ale into a punch bowl. Then, scoop out 6-7 giant ice cream scoops of orange sherbet and add it to the mix. Yes, it’s a lot of sugar — especially after the kids have just had their fill of holiday cookies — but they will love it.
It’s a common tradition to ring in the New Year with a champagne toast. Not exactly a kid-friendly activity. But it can be. Around this time of year, you can find sparkling juice made from apples, cider, or grape juice in grocery stores everywhere. That way, the kids can have a toast with you while getting some great vitamins from fruit juice.
Slow cooker hot cocoa is also a great way to celebrate. At the end of December, even though we’re in a warmer climate, the cool dark evenings call for something warm. You can make several versions of this, and they’re all amazing. Start with 3-4 cups of any kind of milk and one bar of baking chocolate. If you don’t have baking chocolate, you can use a cup of chocolate chips. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon of vanilla paste. Then, add two scoops of hot cocoa mix and your marshmallows. Save some marshmallows for the garnish, too! You can also make this peppermint-flavored by adding two leftover candy canes or 4-5 drops of peppermint extract.
Countdown to Bedtime
As kids, we have fuzzy memories of staying up far too late, nodding off, and waiting for Dick Clark to drop the ball. With today’s technology, we don’t have to keep the kids up until midnight to participate in the countdown.
Instead of counting down to the New Year, count down to bedtime instead. There are several apps and online videos on spaces like YouTube that will mock a midnight countdown so little ones can be part of the celebration. Sound the noisemakers and toss the confetti at 8 p.m. if you’d like. The best pet of the bedtime countdown: that little bit of adults-only time to relax after the kids crash.
Make a Family New Year’s Resolution
What a great way to unite as a family, making a New Year’s resolution together. Maybe you want to travel more. Maybe you’d like to go hiking or be more active together. Maybe you resolve to volunteer or visit grandma more. Whatever it may be, setting goals as a family is a great way to bond.
Start a New Tradition
If you have an old mason jar lying around or another special jar, jug, box, or container, you can create your thankful jar. Snip up small pieces of paper and tape a colorful pen or marker to the jar with string. Then your kids can feel inspired to jot down the things they are thankful for throughout the year. On New Year’s Eve, you can create a tradition of reading aloud all the things you were thankful for throughout the year. Then empty the jar and repeat.
Best things that happened this year collage:
It might also be fun to create a family collage. You can use poster board or canvas to really make it special. The kids can cut out photos, pictures from magazines, or draw their own pictures to express their favorite memories from the past year.
Saving the loose change jar:
This one is a family favorite. Save all your loose change from the year then dump it out and count it on New Year’s Eve. Then decide as a family what to do with the money. Put it toward your next vacation, use it to go out to dinner, or use it for a day at the museum. The kids will have lots of fun learning to save.
Another fun idea is creating a video diary from the year. Go through your phones and put together all the videos from the past year. Then you can watch them all together in your favorite pajamas. It’s simple, and it really helps to reflect on the precious memories from the previous year.
However you choose to celebrate this year, we wish you a very happy, fulfilling, spirited, healthy and adventurous New Year!