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New Year’s

New Year’s Eve traditions around the world
New Year's

Fun Twist & Ideas on Celebrating New Year’s


For New Year’s the world seems a little smaller, together we all celebrate a new beginning.

Everyone celebrates a little differently, so this year we want to teach the kids about countries from around the world and how they usher in the New Year.

Get out a map and every hour leading up to midnight, talk about one country where it’s already turned midnight, do something they do to celebrate and even watch their celebrations online.

Here are a few ideas for you to share with the family:

  1.  CHILE (of course we have to pick this one because that’s where our mama is from!):  Eat grapes! Chileans eat 12 grapes at midnight for good luck, one for every month of the year.  When midnight strikes, the party begins!  A huge dinner, dancing, and fireworks with family and friends.  chile-flagNew Year in Chile
  2. RUSSIA:  Make a wish.  At midnight Russians write a wish for the New Year on a piece of paper, burn it, throw it in their drink  and drink it.  We might not be drinking ours but we are definitely making a wish and burning it.  The kids are going to love this one. russiaCelebrating the New Year in Russia
  3. JAPAN: Ring bells & write a postcard.  Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells 108 times to rid their sins from the past year and ward off worldly desires in the upcoming year.  People also send out postcards that will be delivered to their family and friends on New Year’s day with well wishes.  Celebrate with Japan by writing postcards to your loved ones and run through the house or yard ringing bells. japan-flagjapanese-New Year japanese-new-year
  4. NORWAY:  Masks, singing & candy. In Norway, kids wear masks to disguise themselves and go door to door singing Christmas songs where neighbors give them candy.  This year, we’ll make masks with the kids and have candy for them when they run around the front to ring the doorbell and sing us a song.  Norway also has a huge fireworks display that we’ll watch online.  norway-flagnorway-masks
  5. ITALY:  Out with the old and in with the new.  At midnight, some Italians throw things like furniture and appliances out the window to symbolize letting go of the past and getting a fresh start.  They eat pork at dinner to symbolize richness in the New Year and also have a firework and dancing celebration.  I am going to let the kids pick something old (and small ;)) and throw it out the window.  I’m sure dad is going to love that cleanup on New Years day!  italy-flag


What are your special celebrations on New Year’s Eve?

We hope you have a happy and safe New Year!

9 ways to make 2016 a great year
New Year's, Stories

9 ways to make 2016 a great year

Work towards a goal. It’s easy to write a long list of New Year’s resolutions but the reality is most people don’t stick to them for long. Choose just one or two goals and work towards them. Write them on a sheet of paper and place them where you will see it often.

Reduce the stuff in your home. By simplifying and getting rid of things that are not needed, you will make more room. Not for new stuff but for uncluttered space and order.

Learn something new. Take a class to learn something you’ve always wanted to know more about. And don’t stop at one thing, there is so much to learn.

Get your steps. If you don’t like to exercise, start with walking. It’s therapeutic to get out and breathe some fresh air, not to mention that it is good for your heart and uplifting to the soul. This year, set a goal to walk more.

Do some service. Do something for someone in the neighborhood and community often. You will see how much better you will feel and how many new friends you’ll make.

Meditate more. You are important and need time for yourself. Try to set aside a few minutes each day to meditate, pray or simply sit in silence and think about all the good and positive things in your life.

Reduce TV and video game time. It’s ok to do these things but too much time dedicated to the screen is not productive. Cut out the shows that are not positive, uplifting or contain trash and violence.

Finish an unfinished project. If you have an unfinished project.  You know  that nagging feeling you get every time you remember  it’s not finished yet. Set a goal to just get it done.

Take a risk. It’s time to do that one scary thing you’ve always wanted to do. Venture into uncharted territory, start a business or travel to a far away place.   At the end of your life, you don’t want to look back and regret that you played it safe. This year, go after your dream.

May 2016 be full of adventure, happiness and strength even amongst hard things.  A positive mindset will make all the difference.





New Year's

New year’s eve traditions

Watch this segment live on Channel 13, THE PLACE.  Airing at 1:00 pm on Monday, December 28th.


Year in Review Dinner- We love to end the year with a nice dinner.  During the holidays we spend time with extended family and friends but on New Year’s Eve, we have a dinner with our parents and spouses.  We place a jar in the middle of the table, it’s full of little pieces of paper that everyone has written on.  They contain all sorts of things that happened during the year.  Good things, happy things like “Wesley was born.” or Sami graduated from college” And also hard thing, we turn the bad into a victory by writing something like “Eliza survived kidney stones” or “Bubba almost died of pulmonary embolism but is still here!”  We laugh, and most of the time, we also cry.  It’s a wonderful bonding time for us all and we look forward to it.


Balloon Popping- Fill some balloons with confetti (we use paper confetti, it’s easy to clean up).  With a permanent marker write the time on each balloon so that you can pop a balloon on the hour until midnight arrives.


Photo Booth- This is so much fun.  The kids really have fun with this one because they get to make props and cut up paper to create their own photo booth.  We also buy some ready-made ones.  Make sure you Instagram some pictures.


2016 Wishes- What is a new year without some goal setting?  We like to call it a wish list.  This is fun for everyone because it’s a fill in the blank sheet that you can print.  Click on it to enlarge and print it from here.


We love to decorate with silver, gold and black. These are simple ideas but fun and something you’ll enjoy doing year after year.  With all the busyness of the holidays, it’s nice to keep this party simple.