While in many ways each day is a new start, the New Year feels like such a fresh and clean slate. I love the feeling that I have a new start and a chance to recommit and refocus on what is important. People celebrate the New Year in a myriad of ways and our celebrations have changed over the years.
For the last several years, we have found a set of traditions that works well for us during this time of having younger children. While there were years that I would stay up and ring in the New Year at midnight, now I prefer to be asleep at midnight.
New Year’s Eve Traditions
We have a little town not very far from us that does a ‘Chinese Dragon Run’ each year on New Year’s Eve. They do one early running at about 8 pm and then a later one.
This works well for us because we can go at 8pm and be safely off the road before 9pm. The kids really enjoy the music, the noise, and of course, the brightly colored dragon. Legend has it that touching the dragon brings good luck in the new year. The kids know it is just a story, but we all have fun trying to touch the dragon. You may have noticed that food seems to be woven heavily into our traditions; there is no exception here. We enjoy a steaming cup of hot cocoa each New Year’s Eve as we wait for the dragon.
We stay close by with family that evening, typically going to bed shortly after we get home. The next day we ring in the New Year at the river enjoying the beach. While it may be chilly (I’ve seen it below freezing up to the high 60s so you never really know around here.) we enjoy the beautiful views and some time spent together as a family.
Food Traditions for New Years
Once again, food plays a key role in our celebrations. We enjoy black-eyed peas, collards or some other greens, fresh yeast rolls, some kind of meat, and lots of sweet tea. Traditionally, the rolls, greens, and black eyed peas were eaten for luck and wealth in the coming year. While we are clear that ‘every good gift comes from God’, it is a fun and tasty tradition.
New Year Reflections
We take some time that day to talk as a family about how the past year went and what we hope to accomplish in the year ahead. It is a great time of reflection and planning. We also typically have the children fill out information sheets about themselves. I keep these in a file, and it is nice to be able to look back from year to year and see how things have changed. Sometimes we do these on New Year’s Day, and sometimes I wait until we start back to school.
All in all, we have a fairly low-key but fun time as a family. We have simple but delicious food and a few fun activities that tie it all together. A chance to reflect and dream about he future. I would love to know how you celebrate New Year’s. Do you stay up to ring in the New Year? Go somewhere special or stay home? Maybe you have some favorite foods that you enjoy? I know that different parts of the United States have different traditional foods for the day.
FREE New Years Resources:
New Years Eve Reflections from Purposeful Homemaking (This one looks back on 2017 and plans for 2018 great to do with each member of the family).
New Years Pack (Preschool/early elementary)
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Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
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