Maybe you are planning to spend the last night of the year with your children huddled around the television set or perhaps you are tired from the holidays and simply want to stay in. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to think that spending New Year’s Eve at home is a bummer. There are many ways to make it a night to remember for years to come and, who knows? It may launch a brand new tradition!

Finger Food Feast

Christmas and Hanukkah are associated with big, labor-intensive meals so why not give yourself a break and focus on serving great finger foods?  Whip up a batch of pigs in a blanket with the kids or find a nice variety of frozen hors d’oeuvres that you can pop in the oven and have ready to eat in no time!

Do-It-Yourself Favors

Who doesn’t like wearing hats and playing with party favors on New Year’s Eve? Make it a fun night of crafting with kid-friendly goody bags, games, spinners and more. Sure, you’ll probably be covered in glue and glitter by the time the clock strikes midnight but you’ll have had a great time.

Bring on the Snacks

Yes, you probably had finger foods for dinner (be sure to throw in some veggies or a healthy salad to make up for it!) but that doesn’t count as the “party food.” This is one of those nights when you can let go and just celebrate how fortunate we are to have another night on this earth. Bake some cookies or homemade popcorn, open some sparkling apple cider (or bubbly for the adults!) and wait for the countdown!

Reflect on the Year

Some years are better than others but it’s always important to look back and enjoy the journey. What were the high points of the year behind you?  What accomplishments, big or small, can you all celebrate?  What lessons did you learn? What will you take with you into the new year and what will you leave in the past?  It can be a beautiful thing to see how far you’ve come and how much love and strength there is around you.

Look Ahead

Take some time to also talk about what you want to do in the months ahead?  Has anything from this last year changed how you want to live your life?  Vocalizing it makes it more real and can also allow everyone to be included on the planning. Maybe you want to exercise more or do a better job with recycling. Maybe you want to be less critical or more positive. Whatever your goal, make a plan and do it as a family.

New Year’s Eve can be a tough time for many but, often, it’s because we set our expectations a little too high for the event. It doesn’t have to be a scene from a movie for it to be a magical evening. Remember what is important when you decide where and with whom you want to spend the first moments of this amazing new year.