Updated: Feb 1
These can be done on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Select one or more of these easy ideas:
Memories - Have each family write down some fun or eventful memories from the past year and put them in a bowl. Take time to read each memory aloud. This is a great way to reflect on the year and also add joy to everyone as often family members will forget certain funny or warm memories. Also, on New Year’s Day, start a jar that you fill with memories of the new year. Fill throughout the year with fun or good memories and then share on New Year’s Eve again.
Have a family photo slideshow - Most smart phones allow you to create a slideshow right in your photo gallery. This is so easy to do that my nephew created one on his parents phone when he was only three years old. It is a lot of fun to look back on some of the moments that have shaped your lives over the past year. If you have a teen or older child, ask them to make the slideshow for you. You can show it on your phone or a computer as part of your celebration.
Host a family game night. Have each member of your family pick a game to play together.
Make your own decorations - you can create party hats, or decorate numbers for the new year with stickers, color, collage - whatever your family wants to do. You could also make some noise makers. Some materials that you would probably have around your house that can be used for noise makers - paper plates, toilet paper tubes, corn or beans.
Have each member of your family choose a Scripture that they’d like to be their verse of the year. Parents might need to help younger kids find and select a verse. Alternatively, you could choose a verse for the whole family to focus on for the next year. Consider posting it somewhere around your house to remind you all of it. I always post things like this on my refrigerator.
Conduct New Years Interviews for each family. Write down the responses and save for memories later. Here are some questions to ask:
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite activity?
What do you plan to do next year?
What did you learn about yourself this year?
What did you learn about God this year?
What is your favorite thing about being part of our family?
What is one thing you learned this year?
Make a New Year’s collage - have your kids help you cut out pictures of things they want to do in the next year. This could also include places they want to go, people they want to visit, or new skills they want to acquire.
Make New Year’s resolutions - focus on spiritual aspects also. What is something you’d like to do less of? What is something you’d like to do more of?
Have a fun treat to share. Some easy but fun foods I have made before are:
Individual pan pizza using muffin tins, crescent dough, pizza sauce, cheese and toppings - easy and one of my kids’ favorite,
Slider sandwiches in the oven - get some Hawaiian rolls and sandwich fillings - bake all twelve in the oven and then cut apart. Fun fillings we have used before:
Ham, slices of provolone, turkey, mustard & mayo;
Pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese;
Browned hamburger meat, provolone cheese, onions and peppers sautéed.
Make a time capsule. Get a sturdy container - suggestions: oatmeal container, sturdy box, Christmas tin you received Christmas treats in, ziplock or similar plastic container. Have the kids put one small item that represents them or something that happened that year. Ask the kids to decorate the outside with things that remind them of the year. Include a Bible verse that sums up the past year. You could also put each family members’ interview responses in here. Put it somewhere safe in your house and open it in five or ten years on New Year’s.