‘Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.’
It’s almost New Year’s Eve again! Can you believe it? Christmas is past and another year has come and gone. How the time flies! I can’t believe how quickly these sweet years seem to be passing with our little ones.
I absolutley cherish the memories we are making right now! I relish making these new memories together, but I also try to include and savor the traditions we keep.
‘For auld lang syne’ means for old times sake. And for me, at least, there’s nothing quite like celebrating our cherished New Year’s traditions together, for old times sake! It seems as if time stands still on this special evening, as we gather together with our loved ones to recall the blessings of the past year and share our dreams for the future!
We have a whole new year ahead to look forward to. What a blessing! And as Anne Shirley would say, the new year is ‘fresh with no mistakes in it yet’. Hooray!
Another heartwarming thought for New Years is that, while holiday traditions around the world vary, New Years is celebrated by cultures throughout the world. How exciting to be part of a celebration that’s happening around the entire globe!?!
Here’s our celebration plan for New Years:
New Year’s Eve:
- For Dinner: My husband and I, and our older boys too, have a weakness for Indian food. I’ve heard friends mention such family traditions as getting Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve. Well, in our family we pick up Indian food to go, complete with mango lassis, on New Year’s Eve. We don’t get to have Indian food or take out very often so it’s a real pleasure for everyone. And there’s no big clean up afterwards. What a great way to start the new year!
- For Dessert: We make sparkling jello jigglers! The recipe is so simple. The boys thoroughly enjoy making them. Also, they think the jigglers themselves are hilarious. They’re always giggling while eating their jigglers!
- To Drink: We toast the new year with sparkling grape juice as well.
- Family Photo Review: What a pleasure to think back on the joys of the past year! Earlier in the day on New Year’s Eve, we enjoy taking some time to sit down and look through our family photos with the kids. It’s fun to think back on the prescious memories and to bond while recalling some of our happiest times. And imagine all the new memory making and possibilities we have to look forward to in the new year!
- Games: To pass the time until midnight, we pull out our favorite boardgames, card games, and puzzles. We get a new boardgame every Christmas and that’s usually the one that’s played most this time of year. This year, it was Harry Potter Clue! We haven’t opened it yet and I can hardly wait!
- Good Riddance Bonfire: We first incorporated the New Year’s Eve good riddance bonfire into our plan over a decade ago, after reading Mrs. Sharp’s Tradition by Sarah Ban Breathnach. We try to make a ceremony out of it. But basically, each person writes down any regrets they’d like to forget from the past year. Dad and the boys build a fire in the fire pit. Then, each person takes a turn throwing their paper into the fire, starting the new year afresh! Breathnach writes ‘This restorative tradition grew out of a need to demonstrate to the children in a tangible way that we can put the past behind us and go forward with renewed hopes… It provides much solace as well as positive memories.’ Indeed it does! (And of course, the kids always want s’mores when we do a bonfire so out will come the sticks and marshmallows!)
- Sparklers: After the bonfire, we pull out and light the sparklers left over from our Fourth of July celebrations. We try to draw words in the air or just watch our sparklers shine as they slowly burn down. And the kids run around the yard and get out any extra energy!
- Movie Time: Then, when the little ones start to slow down, or mama starts to slow down, lol, out comes the air popper, the popcorn bowl, and a family movie. We grab our popcorn, some hot coco, and any other goodies. Then, we snuggle up together for a movie, while awaiting the new year.
- Happy New Year: For those still awake after the movie, we adorn our heads with paper hats and grab our horns. We gather our ‘plastic’ wine glasses and prepare to toast. Then, the big countdown begins, 10, 9, 8… Happy New Year! Next, it’s a flurry of kisses and hugs, horns blowing, joyous laughter and a toast with cries of Happy New Year!
New Year’s Day:
–Food: Our New Year’s Day food plan is not always as predictable. It varies year by year. We are actually still trying to decide what to eat this year. Probably something easy and fun like pizza! But there are three things that we always include on the menu for New Year’s Day:
- Black Eyed Peas: You must eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day! I don’t know the whole reasoning behind this tradition but from everything I’ve heard you’ve just got do do it! It’s tradition! They’re really pretty tasty. We usually do hoppin’ John but this year we are going to serve black-eyed pea salsa with blue corn chips!
- Wassail: I’m not sure how this got started but we serve hot wassail on New Year’s Day almost every year. We are going to try a new crockpot wassail recipe this year though. It looks amazing!
- Old Fashion Gingerbread with Fresh Whipped Cream: We’ve used the same gingerbread recipe for years and it always turns out great! And I love that the fresh whipped cream calls for pure maple syrup instead of sugar. I think next year we might try substituting the sugar in the gingerbread with coconut sugar, and see how that turns out.
- New Year’s Resolutions: On New Year’s Day, we all write our New Year’s resolutions down on paper. When finished, we tuck our resolutions away in our family binder so we can review them next year and see how we’ve progressed.
- New Year’s Resolution Game: We’ve played this game for several years and it’s always a blast. It’s fun and also excellent for starting some interesting family conversations! Simply have everyone write their New Year’s resolutions on paper and take turns guessing who the resolutions belong to. I just came across these cool New Year’s Resolution card printables by Darcy Miller and we’re going to try them out this year. So creative! And we’re going to try this cool printable ‘fortune teller‘ with the kids too!
- Interview: I like to do an interview with each family member on the first day of the year but usually don’t get around to it. I’m determined to get it done this year! I like these questions but with all the other things we’ll be writing, I plan to adapt these questions to a video friendly form. Kids answering interview questions are so adorable!
- Prayers for the Coming Year: We take some time on New Year’s Day to write down our prayer requests specifically for the coming year. These also go into our family binder. And we look over our prayers from the previous year. Last year, I’d written down ‘buy our first home’ and that prayer was answered! I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen. It’s so awesome to see God at work in our lives! And personally, I’m so much more apt to recall these blessing when I’ve written them down. We then give thanks for the blessings of the year. Finally, we take a moment to review our family mission statement for the year, which we also keep in our family binder.
That’s what we’ve got planned for New Years. Of course, with 3 little ones, there are usually a few detours!
What are your plans for New Years? Do you like to plan the days or does your family wing it? Do you have any special New Year’s traditions? Are you trying anything new this year?
Hope you have a wonderful New Year! Lots of love and blessings to you!
‘Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.’ -Ralph Waldo Emerson