Saturday, December 21, 2013
How to Have a Perfect New Year's Eve with Kids
If you're a parent, then you know you're better than late night drinking. If you have kids, chances are you've been known to drink early, and often. Who hasn't ordered a 7am mimosa with breakfast, because, quite frankly, it felt like at least 7pm.
But I digress... this isn't about what you could be doing instead on New Year's Eve, this is about what you are actually doing on New Year's Eve: spending a super-fun and memorable night with your beloved children.
As this is how I have spent each and every New Year's Eve for the last decade, here's my foolproof schedule for a perfect New Year's Eve with your kids:
6:00pm: Get ready for your night in! For girls, start with a mani-pedi, the more glittery the better, and finish with shimmery eye makeup and a fancy hairdo. Let them put on their fanciest and/or favorite-st outfit. For boys, nail polish and make-up is optional, but changing into some formal attire is not. My son has already announced he'll be wearing his Iron Man costume.
7:00pm: Dine in style! I'm a fan of the twelve course meal, with each one written out in a menu that's in the shape of a clock, but I also have a lot of time on my hands. If you haven't the desire to make an elaborate menu, let alone meal, any festive meal is a fabulous and perfect way to start the night. We usually have dinner now, and dessert later... 'cause midnight is still six hours away.
8:00pm: Get paper and pen, because it's time to write some heartfelt memories! There are lots of great printables to help with this, but really you don't need a pre-made template. Have the kids write a Top 10 list of favorite things they did in 2013, record all their activities, the best place they traveled, what they like to eat the most, and what their goals are for the year ahead. For a fun twist, have your kids interview you, and each other, investigative reporter style.
9:00pm: Dessert! One year I made a cupcake clock (pictured above, directions here), another time we had cookies decorated like clocks. There's no end to the fun dessert ideas, just take a glance at Pinterest if you need some inspiration. And of course, candy or grapes in multiples of twelve are always a big hit with the littles.
10:00pm: Party like it's New Year's Eve! Turn up the volume and have a dance party, play games, watch videos you recorded in the past year or have the kids perform. End the hour by winding down and reading favorite books and have the kids get into their pajamas.
11:00pm: Get ready for the big moment! Start the countdown now. The little people will more likely than not be acting like tiny terrors by now, so keep the busy. I make five little kits of surprises and toys to keep them happy during the last hour, and the kids open one every ten minutes from 11:00pm to 11:50pm.
11:50pm: Make a Toast! Give the kids as super-special drink for the midnight toast. Sparking apple juice in a champagne flute or warm apple cider in a mug, anything works. Go the extra Pinterest mile if you want with rainbow drinks or cotton candy sodas. When in doubt, add a crazy straw or for a super wow-factor throw in a light-up ice cube.
We give our kids tiny bottles of bubbles to blow as the clock chimes 12, and is a perfectly magical way to bring in a new year and wave goodbye to the old. Also, bubbles in toddler hands make much less noise than do noisemakers.
MIDNIGHT!!!!! You made it! Has anyone puked? Fallen down the stairs? Sent a regrettable drunken text? If not, give yourself a hand on a New Year's Eve gone good.
Happy New Year, everyone!