All around the world, people celebrated the end of 2012 and the start of the new year of 2013. There were over one million people gathered to ring in 2013 in Times Square in New York while millions more watched the festivities at home.
At the stroke of midnight, Facebook erupted with wishes sent out by many users to family and friends. Although some partied their way into the new year, many of my Facebook friends enjoyed a quiet New Year's Eve at home with family.
For many parents, the flavor of New Year's Eve changes after children arrive. Like many other activities and events, ringing in the new year becomes more family-focused. Finger foods, soft drinks, noisemakers and party hats all work well when enjoying a family celebration.
They say that everyone should see Times Square on New Year's Eve at least once in their lifetime. The glitz and glamor of Times Square come across larger than life on TV. In some families, kids are allowed to stay up until the ball drops in Times Square before heading off to bed.
In other families, an early celebration is held before the kids' normal bedtime. This is often the case with toddlers and young school-aged kids. A post-midnight bedtime and 6 a.m. wake-up don't work well and can result in a long day on January 1 for all involved.
One New Year's tradition that many people enjoy is making New Year's resolutions. Some of the most popular resolutions in the United States each year include eating healthier foods, losing weight, getting a better job, managing stress and giving to others.
As we say farewell to 2012 and welcome 2013, many families are trying to simplify their lives. The top resolutions noted for the coming year include spending less money and saving more, getting organized and spending more time with family.
Celebrating New Year's Eve as a family is a good way to start the year more focused on family life. Families can add a family fun night each week. Many families enjoy Friday night pizza and movies at home. Other families have a board game blitz night with simple snacks.
Spending more time together as a family is a great goal for 2013 and one that brings the bonus of adding more joy, happiness and fun to your life. Take a hike together, ride bikes together, play board games together or watch a movie together. What you do isn't as important as doing it together. Happy New Year!