Sunday, January 5, 2014

In Which New Year's Eve Is Saved From COMPLETE Disaster

In other words, it was still a disaster. But not a complete one.

But I digress.

Normally, we spend New Year's Eve up in northern Arizona with DH's folks. We watch old movies, eat leftover Christmas goodies, and have a great time. This year, for the first time ever, DH's parents were unable to host, and we were on our own.

Oh, no! You mean I have to think of something to do on my own

Yup, pretty much.

Being that I was still tired from Christmas, I had a hard time mustering any enthusiasm for planning yet another holiday. (Why, why must we Americans lump our holidays so tightly together? What were we thinking?) Thus, the day before New Year's Eve, I posted a request for ideas on Facebook - and a sweet friend gave me this easy and extremely fun idea. Here it is!

Simply take index cards, write the evening hours on them (ending with bedtime, or thereabouts - however long you want your kidlets up):

On the other side, write a fun activity on each card:

Fold in half, and slip into a bag. If you want to be uber-creative, you could wrap them, put them in prettier bags, or make up some sort of treasure hunt to search for them. I settled for the super-simple this year.

Then give the kids the cards, and let them open them at the right times as the night progresses.

This was such a great idea! Hopefully we won't have to spend New Year's Eve by ourselves again, but if we do, we'll definitely do this - and we might even use this for other celebration dates!

Here were some of the "special things" I put on the back of the cards (in case you can't read them from the pictures):

- Make brownies with mom (I used the crockpot brownies-in-a-mug recipe - so fun!)
- Start crockpot hot chocolate
- Pick a board game and play it
- Eat brownies and milk
- Pick one cookie and eat it
- Fill out our "Remember 2013" New Year's sheet
- Watch the ball drop in Times Square

So how'd it go?

Well, not so hot, actually. It was a bit of a rough night. I wasn't feeling well, DH was out of sorts, and the kids were on the cantankerous and rowdy side. At times it was a bit stressful.

What I didn't realize, of course, was that a wee little virus had happily flitted into our household, and all of our kids were getting sick - and thus were displaying that mysterious pre-illness "Why are these kids so doggone cranky?" syndrome. Two of them woke up with it the next day, and two more on Friday (I'm including DH in the count!), and I am now coming down with it. So that put a definite damper on the fun.

Also, I had forgotten why I despise board games with young kids. Suffice it to say, never again. Or at least, not any time soon. I'll reconsider at some point - say, 2037.

However, this game was really the saving grace of the evening. Otherwise, it would have been a complete disaster, but as it was, this put some fun into the evening. Next time I'll leave out board games and put in something easier like "make a tent out of blankets in the living room." I learned some tips of the trade.

Additionally, this year was the last year that we are going to watch the ball drop in Times Square. We turned on the "TV" (i.e. the computer) two minutes before ball-drop time, and we were very disappointed. We were thinking "a fun show," but it looked more like some type of manic orgy consisting mainly of really bad music and close-ups of really intimate kissing. I was embarrassed, DH was disgusted, and we both thought, "Why on earth are we actually showing this to our innocent children?" We shut it off the second the ball dropped, and we shut it off for good. Next year we'll just go outside and drop a pine cone. It will be a big improvement on the New York scene, for sure!

And with that, we head (officially!) into 2014. School starts back up tomorrow, and I'm going to be working hard on my current goals - and the main one for tomorrow will be staying on schedule!

I look forward to interacting with you all over the coming year!

Cheers, everyone! Happy Sabbath!

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