Photo credit by F. Montino
The New Year holiday is often associated with lavish parties that last through the night, and continue until morning. If you aren’t up for shutting down a bar, or if you just want to enjoy some additional holiday time with your family, try these five ideas for celebrating the New Year at home.
1. Go for Game Night!
Sometimes there is nothing better than breaking out a board game on a cold, New Year’s Eve night. Organizing a New Years game night is a great way to spend time with your friends an family in an intimate setting, instead of battling traffic and the elements to get to a stuffy party. Gather your favorite board games like Monopoly, Clue, and Life, and set up stations for each game. Guests can play whatever game they want and rotate to different stations. Be sure to establish a separate games area for kids with junior versions of classic games, so that the youngsters can get in on the fun.
For a more technologically savvy crowd, it is time to break out the Wii for interactive game play. Use this Nintendo gem for tournament style sports games. You can also get down with multiplayer action and a little nostalgia with Wii’s Super Mario Brothers. If you don’t have a Wii gaming system try interactive DVD games from the Scene It? brand, or the new Harry Potter DVD game.
2. Family Feature
New Year’s Eve is the one time of year when it is okay for the entire family to stay up past midnight. Take advantage of this opportunity to share in family, quality time by breaking out some of your favorite films. Start the evening after dinner, and allow each family member to select their favorite flick. If you have a large family, put the movie choices to a democratic vote. Cuddle up in front of your home theater system with some cozy blankets, beverages, candy, and do NOT for get the popcorn…extra butter, please.
3. Dinner In
Instead of going out to a crowded restaurant on one of the busiest nights of the year, stay in and have your own delicious dining experience. You can make your dinner party as dressed up or dressed down as you want. Select your menu, and then make a quick trip to your local discount store to pick up some table accessories like a table cloth, centerpieces, and place cards. Put on some soothing music, and light a few candles for ambiance. Remember to stay away from scented candles, since they detract from the taste of the food. Invite your closest friends and family over, and tuck into the table for a magical evening!
For a fun twist on a dinner party, turn it into a New Year’s murder mystery event. You can order murder mystery kits online or from some party stores, or you can come up with your own storyline. As your guests arrive, hand them a top secret envelope with their character description and order of events for the evening. Play out the mystery during dinner, and reveal the killer just before midnight. A murder mystery dinner party is definitely the way to ring in a memorable New Year.
4. Homemade Karaoke
Karoke is one of those activities that brings people together with the spirit of fun and utter humiliation. Who needs Dick Clark’s New Year's Rockin’ Eve when you can have your own rockin’ New Year at home? Karaoke will provide endless hours of fun, and it is also a great ice breaker if you have a few friends over who don’t know each other well. Break out your karaoke machine - or rent one if need be - and sing the night away. Stock up on snacks and traditional bar food like a variety of appetizers, and bowls of pretzels and roasted nuts for your guests to much on as they listen to the karaoke crooning.
5. Reflection and Resolutions
This is a great activity to share with your family and friends on New Year’s Eve. While celebrating with friends, take time before the ball drops to examine your life. Pass around two pieces of paper and a pen to each participant. Using one piece of paper, ask guests to write a paragraph or a few statements reflecting on the year. On the other piece of paper, ask guests to make resolutions for the year to come. Then, take turns sharing your reflections and resolutions. You can break up the activity by reading the reflections before the ball drops, and then reading the resolutions after midnight.
Using any of these fun ideas for a New Year at home will create priceless memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. Be sure to capture your memories with videos and photos that you can enjoy for years to come. Don’t forget to take a break from your event to watch the ball drop on television, and save a kiss for your sweetie! Happy New Year!