Instead of getting out in the crowds of revelers, many of which have too much to drink, perhaps you and your family have opted for a safer, quieter celebration of the incoming year by remaining at home. It can be a great time for bonding if you plan some simple, special things to do together, such as those that follow:
Cook some amazing food – When you consider how much money you saved by staying at home, perhaps you can splurge a bit on some ingredients for some of your family’s favorite dishes. Each member of the family can contribute by selecting and preparing at least one dish for the evening. All the items would not necessarily have to be eaten as part of the dinner meal, but could be spread over the evening.
Agree, as a family, on the types of things you will do – Take some time to reflect on where the past year has taken each of you individually, and the family, as a whole. Other things you might consider might be:
- Go for a walk. This might provide the opportunity for members to talk about things they were not comfortable discussing around the dinner table.
- Try some new things – foods, drinks, games, etc.
- Play board games the family already enjoys.
- Play competitive video and/or Wii games. Select teams and keep a running score throughout the night.
- Watch old movies together.
Make New Year’s resolutions together – Sit down as a group and share your ideas for New Year’s resolutions. While everyone is together, it may be a good time to select some resolutions which will require the help of another member of the family for you to keep. Make some as a family, as a whole, too.
Invite other families over – Why not ask a few families over to your home to watch the New Year begin? Try to have kids the same age as yours in the mix. Ask each family to be responsible for some activity or food item so as to spread the responsibilities for planning and preparation.
Be aware of the time – Have something special planned for when the Crystal Ball drops. Some ideas include:
- Light sparklers, blow horns, bang on drums and shout out “Happy New Year” as the New Year comes in.
- Sing Auld Lang Syne.
- Open a bottle of bubbly to share a toast with all the adults. Have a non-alcoholic drink available for underage revelers and those adults who do not drink.
- Watch the fireworks, if you can see them from where you live. (Remember, it is illegal in most states to shoot off fireworks on your own.)
Kiss your spouse, date and/or children – Don’t forget this important tradition. If you are not with anyone you care to kiss, you can always give someone a little “peck on the cheek”.
Have a happy and blessed 2014.