New Year’s Eve With Kids

Does your family celebrate New Year’s Eve? I can’t say I was a big partier before I had kids. I’ve always liked going to bed around midnight! But now, the thought of staying up until midnight terrifies me a little bit. My kids are still up by 5:30, and they don’t understand that New Year’s Day is supposed to be special somehow. I think my most favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations from years past included board games and movies and bedtimes just after the ball dropped.

I guess I’ve been to a few wild, all-night parties. But I really have no desire to do that ever again. What I would like to do is celebrate the geeky New Year with my friends, who’ve invited me to a small party where guests will read aloud from William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. I’m a pretty nerdy person, if you didn’t already know! Apart from the screenplay, there will be good friends, good conversation, and really nice cranberry dip.

The best part is these friends live one block down the hill from me. I love walking distance parties! But how the heck am I going to find a babysitter for New Year’s Eve? I hate to leave my husband home couch-surfing while I go to the geeky party. It seems wrong to separate for the holiday. I know if I stay home with him, we’ll be asleep by 10pm.

Something that I find challenging is the way “nighttime” holidays wind up being just an ordinary day when I have young
children to take care of and no relatives close by. Sure, we can count down to noon at the Children’s Museum, but the kids don’t really get that this is a special day. It’s not the same. We use noisemakers a lot of days! I find lots of holidays easy to make special with the children, but “party” holidays like NYE still make me feel a tiny bit sad when I just simply can’t participate…or if I choose to I know I’ll be spending a truly rotten New Year’s Day clinging to a coffee mug.

I think I might owe it to my marriage and my family to stay home that night (or maybe just stop by the party for a wee bit after I get the kids to bed?) and try to make an at-home date experience with my husband. We could eat something fancy and watch Star Trek III: The Search for Spok. Or we could play Ticket to Ride. We can remind ourselves this is just a short phase, and also that the neighbor kid is growing ever closer to being old enough to guard the sleeping children. I think 2013 was a great year for us. We could go to bed early and talk about the things we hope will happen in 2014, just the 2 of us.

Until the toddler wakes up to nurse and kicks us both in the face while he lies in our bed.

Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve? Leave us a comment to share your celebration ideas.

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