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Celebrating New Year’s Eve with Kids: Auld Lang Syne is Scots for ‘Is Melissa Asleep?’

By Melissa Summers

You would think, with all my November talk of holiday shopping and getting your cards out, I had completed all my Christmas preparations in the first weekend in December and have been sitting by the warm light of the tastefully decorated Christmas tree with a cup of eggnog all month calm in the face of Christmas.
You’d be wrong. For all my talk of ‘staying on top of things’ I have created a massive December pile up of decorating, shopping and generally losing it. Yesterday Logan and I saw a window display declaring ‘Last Minute Gift Ideas’ and it was the first time we realized we’re venturing into Last Minute territory.
What’s the saying, ‘Physician Heal Thyself’? I think that fits here.
Today I want to talk about New Year’s Eve, because we’re throwing a party and I should really start doing something about that, instead of waiting until the last minute as I am prone. For New Year’s Eve we invite several families over. Last year we had five families to celebrate at our house with 14 kids between us. That’s 26 people in 1200 square feet, that’s not crowded if you evenly divide the space (about 46 square feet per person)….it’s just that the kids refuse to stay in their 46 square feet. You know how they are.
You can make your New Year’s Eve gathering pretty low key without any crafts or favors, but since this is the (God Willing) last year we’ll be living in this house, we’ve decided to make this party a little more eventful and organized. Since I’m saving approximately $6000 by not hiring a babysitter for New Year’s Eve, I don’t mind spending a bit of money on the party.
Even though we’re including children in this party, we’re lucky that our kids are a little older and even more lucky that they’re pretty happy just hanging out together so we won’t have a ton of games or activities, but I do want to do a few things to make this year special.
partycrackers.jpgI’ll be giving each guest a party cracker to open early in the evening. You can buy them on line and often at party supply stores, but we’ll be making ours so I can customize what goes into each one. I’ll be using this tutorial at Not Martha to help me along. I’m not entirely sure what will go in each cracker, probably a little candy for the kids and, most importantly, a fortune for the coming year.
partyhats.jpgWe’ll also be making party hats with the kids. There’s a fairly simple tutorial here for a homemade party hat. But I think, considering my mastery of the art of procrastination, we’ll be buying hats at the party supply store and giving the kids stickers and maybe some paper garland to customize their hats with.
drawing.gifI’m not sure the kids will be interested in this craft project or not, but I’ll make it available to them. I thought it would make a neat and easy keepsake to get each of the older kids (4+ maybe) to draw a picture of the best part of their year. Something like this idea only a bit more simplified. It will be interesting to see what each kid remembers from this past year. I have a feeling my kids will remember the Port O John in the driveway for two weeks this summer while we remodeled our one bathroom. I know that was the highlight of my year.
confettiNewYear.jpgI’ve got a couple ideas for the stroke of midnight. I love this simple homemade balloon drop. I’m normally opposed to messy things, my kids have used paints at our house a total of three times in the last 8 years. But I think the sign of a great New Year’s Eve party is when confetti blows out of your heat registers for 2 months after the party. As such, I’ve put together these confetti favors, complete with noisemakers (because kids just aren’t noisy enough!), for our event.
Of course all these ideas hinge on me not falling asleep before midnight. Which, as evidenced by last year’s 12:03 crash, is entirely possible.

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Jill

    Sounds like a lot of fun. My friends aren’t brave enough to include all the kids in their new year’s eve party! Another fun idea for the balloon drop is to place little strips of paper with prizes written or typed on them that the kids can turn in to you for prizes. Of course, it will get a little loud with all the kids scrambling to pop the balloons!

  • I didn’t know there was more than one melissa lang running around this world.

  • These are great tips! Thanks for sharing.