For many, New Year’s Eve means going out with friends, taking part in extravagant parties and even perhaps having a little too much fun. This year, things are different. Here in London, Ontario we are on lockdown and in many places around the world, even if not locked down, it is still too dangerous to go out and celebrate as per usual.
If you’re like me, maybe you just really like to have a fun family-oriented New Year’s celebration anyway. After all, being home with your family doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own fun to welcome the new year.
Sure, things are different this year. But we can still see this as an opportunity to celebrate with our families and create long lasting memories.
Great Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Your Family
Play Dress Up.
The sky is the limit when it comes to your New Year’s Eve attire. Especially if you are celebrating at home. Get dressed up in your fanciest clothing or your silliest pajamas.
Write your grateful list with your family.
Sit down and give everyone a few pieces of paper to write what they are grateful for from 2018. Then, put the lists in jars and read them the next New Year’s Eve.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve a bit early.
If your children are extremely young, you can celebrate at 8 pm rather than midnight. This will make sure that they start the new year off well rested and gives the adults some time to relax and welcome the new year alone.
Make some noise!
Grab some leftover noisemakers from your last birthday party (or order some online). No noisemakers? How about clapping some blocks of wood together? Or use some spoons and pots and pans. If you have some bubble wrap, lay some out on the floor and let the kids jump up and down on it.
Dance into the New Year.
Clear a space in your home to make way for some serious dance moves, throw on some amazing music, and let loose with the littles.
Have a family sleepover in the living room.
Have every member of the family bring their mattresses out to the living room and get ready for the ultimate sleepover. Bonus points if you build a giant fort. Remember though, a fort just isn’t a fort without an abundance of comfortable pillows.
Have a board game marathon.
This is one of our favorite New Year’s Eve activities! Pick some of your family favourites and gather around a table to play games well into the new year. Want some more active games? Here are some fun family-friendly games to play!
Use glow sticks rather than sparklers.
It may be a little cold to go outside and use sparklers. Never fear, glow sticks are here. Turn off all the lights and dance around with glow sticks.
Bring some good luck into your lives.
Okay, I’m not really a superstitious person, but a) having some fun traditions year to year can be a great way to build family bonds and b) after the year we’ve had, it can’t hurt, right?
When I was little my dad used to insist on having pickled herring for good luck on New Year’s Eve. The silver color of the fish symbolized prosperity for the new year. We also made pork and sauerkraut and in later years, black eyed peas (although we served these after midnight). Recently, I saw another tradition where you eat 12 grapes (1 for each month) at the stroke of midnight. Maybe you could develop your own tradition and your good luck foods could be serving each person’s favorite food.
Other good luck traditions you could embrace: In Brazil, they wear white for luck and peace. Open all the doors and windows to let go of the old year and any lingering bad luck it might bring. In Puerto Rico, they believe that dumping a bucket of water out the window will repel evil spirits.
In Ireland, they used to put a piece of buttered bread outside their door to ensure a steady food supply in the new year. They would also bang a hard loaf of bread against a wall at midnight to help banish evil spirits. In the Philippines, they wear polka dots and eat round foods to symbolize coins and bringing prosperity into their lives in the coming year. Oh and of course, kissing someone you love at midnight is another way to bring good luck into your life. It symbolizes love and affection all year long.
How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve with your family?
There are lots of great ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your family and welcome in a brand new year! Just get creative and remember, the sky is the limit. Your kids can either enjoy an early celebration with the kids, or let them stay up to see the ball drop. No matter what you choose, welcoming the new year together is a bonding experience everyone will remember for a long time!