Here are 10 great ways to celebrate the last night of the year with your family:
1. Re-live special events and fun times (and have some good laughs!) by watching your home movies and viewing photos from the past year while waiting for the new year to arrive. Don’t forget the chips and dips or popcorn and ice cream.
2. Plan a “First Night” celebration (i.e., family talent show night) in the tradition of the musicians, actors, mimes, mummers, jesters, and puppeteers of old.
3. Snuggle up and read some classic stories aloud by candlelight (or flashlight).
4. Hold a family meeting. Talk about the best things you did together during the past year, and make plans for the coming year. Go over your resolutions and offer ideas for helping each other to achieve them. Brainstorm some ideas for your Homeschool Mission Statement or a Family Motto.
5. Have a family fun night and play some of those board games and card games that you usually don’t have time for.
6. Make it a movie night. Rent some movies or watch the DVDs that you got for Christmas.
7. Have a “Take-out Feast.” Pick up some pizza, egg rolls, tacos, fries, onion rings, etc. – a little from each of your favorite restaurants.
8. Attend a “Watchnight Service,” a late-night Christian church service held on New Year’s Eve with singing, scripture reading, praying, and resolving. Rev. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, originated watchnight services in 1740, sometimes calling them Covenant Renewal Services.
9. If your neighbors are still up at midnight, open up the window or step outside and holler “Happy New Year” to them.
10. Set off some fireworks if it’s legal in your city, or get some silly noisemakers to use at the stroke of midnight.
For all of the above… don’t forget the chips and dip, popcorn and ice cream, and drink a toast to the New Year with Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider – or milk and cookies.
Finally, no New Year’s Eve celebration would be complete without “Auld Lang Syne,” traditionally sung at the stroke of midnight in English-speaking countries. “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days.” The song was based on a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, and set to the music of an old Scottish folk tune.