Planning for the New Year

Hello Readers!  Happy Kwanzaa!  Wow!  Can you believe that 2017 starts in less than a week? It’s hard to believe that this year has flown by!  We have seen quite a year, and I know I’m not alone in my anticipation of 2017 and all that it has to bring.

But first, I want to discuss ideas on how to bring in the New Year.  I know that many of us with kids ring in the new year a little differently than those without kids.  Gone are the days of freezing our tail ends off in cocktail dresses and party getup while waiting for the ball to drop.  Now, we have to consider what’s best for our kids.  So, lets talk about a few options for a kid-friendly New Year.

Nothing about the holiday says you can’t still throw a small soiree with kids.  Just be sure to create a kid-friendly event.  Also, remember that those with small kids may not stay long if they come at all.  It might be best to plan a pre-party party, such as a dinner party.  You can even make it a potluck and invite friends to bring their favorite side dish or dessert while you provide the main course.  I highly recommend doing a more laid back main dish like Roasted Chicken, Beef Brisket, Tri Tip, or Shredded Pork.  Include fun games and activities for everyone to enjoy, such as Pictionary, Gestures, Charades, Outburst, and Taboo.  I also like playing a great game of Cranium or Trivial Pursuit with a large crowd.

If parties aren’t your thing, or you have little kids, I highly recommend doing a family friendly night.  Make a special dinner, again something laid back like what I’ve listed above, and help your kids learn the importance of the event with such a meal.  Include a fun side dish like homemade mac ‘n cheese or baked fries.

Now, also keep in mind that you’ll want to make the event fun, too.  So I would recommend playing family games together, like Apples to Apples or Candyland, or watch a family friendly movie like Mary Poppins or Annie.  If you have older kids, I recommend doing a more mature movie, like Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium or The Wizard of Oz, or do a more mature game like Scrabble or Yahtzee.  Personally, my husband’s family prefers to play Settlers of Catan while my own family always played games like Risk or, our personal favorite, the discontinued game of Solar Quest.  Either way, choosing a fun family activity will make the event special for all.

Keep in mind that as your kids get older they will most likely not want to do a typical family night for New Year’s.  Even if your kids can drive and want to spend the night hanging out with friends, I would recommend not letting them go out on New Year’s.  Most places will be packed with party goers, and not everyone will be using the best of judgement, especially when it comes to drinking and driving.  Even if your kid doesn’t drink doesn’t mean that others won’t.  So, be on the safe side and put your foot down for the new year.  It’s better to have a mad kid than to have an injured one, or worse.

So instead, offer to let your kids have a sleep over with a best friend or two.  Invite them to do it at your home, and provide a night of safe fun for them.  Again, don’t allow any alcohol, but allow them the opportunity to enjoy the holiday with their friends.  Be sure to give them the space they need to have fun, but keep an eye on them to avoid any dangers.  Most parents will love this idea as it helps them get a night off, especially  holiday night.  If possible, you can even ask for a trade: New Year’s for Valentine’s Day.  Some parents are willing to take you up on that deal, especially after the holidays.  And, as a bonus, you’ll score a free babysitter for Valentine’s Day.

For our family, we will be spending the night in with our son Sean and each other.  We plan to watch The Wizard of Oz together before watching the fireworks from our patio.  It will be a welcome relief as we are taking the Christmas decorations down this week and I start my Reboot Juicing diet on Wednesday after the New Year.  And my husband Ryan’s work starts slowing down after a busy holiday season.  We also see our schedules clear up after a busy holiday season of parties and dinners.

And, we plan to do a special brunch for New Year’s Day with Belgian waffles, eggs, sausages, a winter fruit salad, and great coffee.  After which, we will take time to see our families nearby to celebrate the new year with them by playing games and discussing our plans for the new year.  And while I’m not a huge fan of having New Year’s resolutions, this is a good time to discuss those resolutions.  As always, be positive and encouraging about others’ resolutions.

Now, before we leave, allow me to explain a bit about the resolutions.  While I understand that people do choose to make resolutions, I myself choose not to because of how hyped up it can be.  Most New Year’s resolutions are broken by Groundhog Day, and people waste a lot of money on their resolutions by buying things like gym memberships, workout equipment and gear, diets, and whatnot. Instead, I choose to see every day as an opportunity to complete a resolution.  If I feel like I need a timeline or a good start date, I choose to start on a Sunday or on the first of any month.  So I prefer to start my resolutions throughout the year.  Hopefully, you will attempt something similar.  And hopefully you will plan a fun night for your kids for the New Year.

Until next time,




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