December 29, 2014

How to tolerate your kids on New Year's Eve

If you plan to be at home with the kids this New Year’s Eve, then join the club. 

Scott and I will be sitting this one in...again.

But since Scotty and Kennedy can do a little more this year, we’ll be able to at least introduce them to the notion that this night is all about letting loose and having fun. 

I figure that's preferable to leaving the kids to their own devices (Read: Allowing them to run amok in the playroom while I park my behind on the couch and watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.)

The following is a list of awesome ways to put a family-friendly spin on a night that is otherwise accompanied by designated drivers and debauchery:
Let’s toast
It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without the well-oiled tradition of raising your glass. But this year swap the hors d'oeuvres and champs for cookies and milk – and do serve the latter in flutes. You can go all out and bake your own cookies – perhaps chocolate chip with holiday M&Ms, or the sugar variety covered in colored sprinkles – earlier in the afternoon. If staying up until 12 a.m. is too much for your little one, toast midnight in a different region. Simply choose another country with a time zone ahead of your own, and let the countdown begin! Scotty and I will be making rainbow rice krispie treats (read: rice krispie treats with food coloring) and toasting with 2% milk.

Hats off to you
This activity is light on the wallet, but heavy on creativity. Swing by your neighborhood dollar store and load up on coned New Year’s Eve party hats – the paper kind that resembles a birthday hat – and while you’re there purchase an assortment of crafts: glitter, glue, streamers, pipe cleaners, etc. Then turn everyone loose to create a masterpiece of their own to be worn that evening. (If you do this, please report back and tell me how it went because we won’t be doing this activity in these parts – there would be more glue in Kennedy's mouth than on the party hat.)

Seeing into the future
New Year’s Eve is as much about reflection as it is about setting new goals for the twelve months ahead. Why not encourage everyone to design a vision board inspired by their very own affirmations and desires for the New Year? All that’s needed are white poster board, scissors, markers, glue, and an array of magazines for cutting out images. I’ve done this every year since 2008, and I still have them all.

Burst your bubble
Bubble wrap: Chances are, we’ve all got a bit stashed away somewhere, especially during the holidays. Since few occasions call for unabashed celebratory noise like New Year’s Eve bring your bubble wrap out of hiding and let the kids stomp away. Adults can get in on the action, too. Don’t think you can bear the noise? Add some music. While I’d really like to partake in this one, I’m sure Kennedy would scream her face off upon hearing the first snap. No, thanks.

This one is easy-peasy and calls only for pads of colorful post-it notes and a mason jar. Have your family write down their favorite memories of the past year and place them into the jar to share at your New Year's Eve celebration. Not only is this activity fun, it makes for a unique centerpiece at your New Year’s Eve breakfast or evening meal.

Great grapes
Now, this one, I can’t wait to do because our entire family loves grapes, and Scotty thinks they’re candy! (I don’t know how much longer this will last, but I’m going to ride this until the wheels fall off.) This tradition hails from Spain, where party-goers toast with grape skewers containing twelve grapes, each grape representing the twelve months of the year. Make sure to have enough grapes and skewers for everyone, and as for presentation, place them all in a nice vase prior to the toast.

That’s all I’ve got. 

No, wait, I have one more thing to say:

I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous and Happy New Year!

Join us on Facebook and Instagram. :-)


  1. These are great ideas, especially the bubble wrap!! I will be home also. I wish you and your family an amazing 2015!!! Happy New Year!

    1. I SO want to try to the bubble wrap. Scotty enjoyed it last year, but I don't think Miss K. will be down for that. :-/

      I am so very glad our paths crossed this year!

      Happy 2015 to you and your lovely family as well. <3


  2. Hi Courtney - We alternate years between going out to dinner and staying in. This year, we are staying in, and having some friends over for a taco bar night. Just dinner, we will all be in bed before NYE - we are an early family! Nothing too crazy this year... just hanging out. All the best to you and your family in 2015 and I am so glad that we met and look forward to inspiring the world together in 2015! Hugs, Holly

    1. Likewise, Holly!!! The feeling is beyond mutual, my friend!!! :-)

      So glad we've connected: Let's look forward to Big Things in 2015!!!!

      (And by the way, that's my kinda New Year's Eve ;-)


  3. Hahah, my son would LOVE the bubble wrap. In fact, my MIL brings bubble wrap to my house just so he can pop it. :P For my part - I'm experiencing some sort of auditory-failure to focus when there's too many competing noises - bubble wrap triggers it - unfortunately. Hopefully it will have resolved itself by next year, because it'd be a great stand-in for the fireworks!

    1. I totally get the auditory-failure...and I know from personal experience that fireworks can trigger it. A law was passed in these parts that made previously-illegal fireworks legal. The result? Our usually uberly-quiet neighborhood in the country sounded like Beirut on 7/4...

      Hope you're having a nice Sunday.