You made it through another year of wrangling little people, enduring carpool, and cleaning sticky substances from every surface. Pop the Martinelli’s!
Few people will tell you this, but you have so much to be proud of. This parenting gig isn’t for the faint of heart. Through the past 12 months, you’ve likely been on an emotional roller coaster with blissful highs and probably some lows.
It’s cliche, but the New Year is a fantastic time to take it all in. How did last year go? What do you want to repeat next year? What didn’t go the way you had hoped? Even if you aren’t a goal setter, there are some things you can do to appreciate the past and charge optimistically into the future with your family.
Try these simple, fun ideas that will help you turn New Year’s into a memorable celebration.
Reflect on Last Year’s Highlights
Each passing year brings happy family news, vacations, new experiences, and a full schedule of activities. It also inevitably brings illness, growing pains, and sadness. Sometimes all of it moves so fast that we forget just how much good has happened in 12 months.
Organize a special family meeting where you share your highlights from the past year. This can happen around the dinner table, before or after a family game night, or in the car.
If your kids are young, you may need to prompt them with more specific questions. Where was the funnest place you went? What’s something you learned how to do? If you have babies or toddlers who aren’t quite talking yet, have their older siblings recall some of their exciting milestones. Encourage older kids to share multiple highlights in different categories: academic, social, physical, and extracurricular.
Your family will love reliving all of the moments and celebrating life together.
Set Individual & Family Goals
While setting goals makes some people excited and motivated, it’s a bit of a drag for others. Setting goals might seem like something your family isn’t ready for because your children are too young.
This annual ritual doesn’t have to follow the typical advice to create an action plan and timeline. Instead, “setting goals” can feel attainable. Simply turn the goal conversation into family planning.
Ask your kids
- What’s something you want to learn next year?
- What’s something you want to try for the first time?
- What’s something fun you want to do?
- What’s one hard thing you want to get better at doing?
- What can you do to take care of your body?
Change the questions based on your kids’ ages and what’s meaningful to your family. Make sure you share the answers to these questions, too, so you can inspire new ideas in your kids.
Write everything discussed down in a notebook and save it to look at next New Year.
Plan a New Year's Eve Celebration
Party horns and banging pots and pans at midnight is what New Year’s dreams are made of. Anything you plan for your family will be a success!
However, if you want to take your cozy, at-home celebration up a notch, we have ideas.
- Celebrations immediately feel exciting when you add a few decorations. Grab balloons, confetti, signs, and streamers to deck your party room/living room out.
- Party the night away in your comfiest PJs. This might be your opportunity to get one more festive use out of those Christmas jammies.
- Watch a family movie while munching on big bowls of popcorn. Rent a movie you haven’t seen before to make it a true movie theater experience.
- Set up your Smol bounce house. All that jumping will keep your kids awake and tire them out for a good night’s sleep.
- Break out the board games and card games! It’s the best way to get plenty of laughs and connection into your fun evening.
- Watch the New Year’s Eve special on TV, musical performances and all. Parenting hack: If your kids are rubbing their eyes and the ball hasn’t dropped, find a previous year’s ball drop video. Your littles won’t know the difference.
- Just because it’s New Year’s doesn’t mean you can’t have a reasonable bedtime. Let your kids stay up a little later, just for fun, but get them in bed so you can celebrate with a little alone time.
No matter what you do as a family to celebrate, it’s all about getting that quality time in.
As the clock ticks towards the new year, hug your loved ones and enjoy all the memories that made the year great. Don’t forget to also anticipate all the fun that’s yet to come!
Cheers to another year of imagination, play, and creating lasting memories with your people. Thanks for letting us be a smol part of your world. Happy New Year!