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When I was a kid New Year’s Eve was so exciting! My parents would let us stay up until Midnight to take us out to breakfast. We called it “First Breakfast” because it was literally the first breakfast of the New Year. One year we went to the diner with my parents and their friends, another year the local firehouse hosted a first breakfast event. I was just four years old when my parents started this tradition, but I still remember it today!

I knew I would make this a tradition for my little family one day. The only problem is, at age 6 my kids still “can’t hang.” If they do not go to bed at the same hour every night we have horrible, monstrous humans we can’t face the public with. So our solution is to celebrate a big first breakfast at our kitchen table every year. We make it special with colorful decorations and drink out of fancy glasses. It has become such a big hit at our house that I now keep a kit ready. I pull it out on New Year’s Eve after they fall asleep and set it up before I go to bed (hours before midnight).

The traditional colors for New Year celebrations are silver and gold, or black and white. However, we prefer the colors of Mardi Gras- green, gold and purple. These are all colors of royalty and represent prosperity and good fortune; all great things to hope for in the New Year and they make a pretty colorful back drop to our first breakfast.

Here is what I have in my first breakfast celebration kit:

ny-kit-2

Champagne Flutes– We don’t actually serve champagne (to the children) for breakfast, but we do like feeling fancy. So we serve up their morning OJ (and our mimosas) in these colorful, reusable flutes. The kids really get a kick out of it!

Hats, Noise Makers and Beaded Necklaces – every year I set the table with these fun accessories for each person in the family. As soon as the kids come out in the morning we put on our fashions and march in a noisy parade through the house. Since mommy and daddy can no longer hang till midnight either, this noise isn’t so horrible after a full night’s sleep.

ny-kit-collage

Holiday Crackers- these are just fun! You pop them open and there is usually a paper crown inside along with some jokes and a little trinket. It keeps the kids busy while I am cooking up breakfast. They take turns cracking each other up and I get to enjoy hearing them laugh instead of argue for a minute. P.s. Holiday crackers usually go on sale for half price after the holiday season.

Tableware- I use disposable decorative paper plates with matching napkins. After cooking a big breakfast of omelets, bacon and fresh cinnamon buns, and drinking a few mimosas, I could use the break from washing dishes. P.p.s I hit up the dollar stores after the holiday and pick up festive prints for 50 cents each. I stock up to keep on hand for the next few years.

Masks- one of my kids wanted to start wearing masks for our parade one year and so the tradition has stuck around. We don’t wear them while eating breakfast because that would just be weird. Unless you are six then it’s just breakfast time. (I don’t even ask anymore).

ny-kit-masks

Clock– another kid created tradition. It makes a great centerpiece for our table.

Not included in the kit are colorful foiled chocolate coins I toss around the table to represent money and sweetness. I buy these every year because obviously chocolate is not going to survive more than a day in my house. And it could get pretty gross in storage for a year. I keep all our decorations in a reusable clear tote and put away until our next first breakfast.

Our version of First Breakfast may not have the same kind of thrill as when I was as a kid, but it is our own. Right now while the kids are still little and so dependent on routine, we are happy keeping the first breakfast tradition alive eight hours after the official start to the new year. It feels more manageable and sane for us. Maybe one day my children won’t turn into gremlins and we can move this tradition to a new location. Or, maybe we’ll return to this cozy tradition year after year. Either way I just hope they remember these first breakfasts as fondly as I remember mine.

What New Year traditions do you and your family celebrate?

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

 

NYE

 

The elves have all packed up and returned to the North Pole. Santa has retired to the Caribbean for a much deserved vacation. So, what’s left for the New Year holiday? As a parent with really little ones you may be wondering the same. Here are some really fun ways to usher in the New Year with your kiddos.

First let me note that if your little one cannot stay up until til midnight because they will turn into Gremlins, that’s OK. You can celebrate the countdown to bed time! (Which isn’t that how most of us get through each day)?

Annual Interview– I love this one! You can find an interview on Pinterest, by searching Google, or make up your own. I like to use the same questions each year to see how the answers change. Include things like who are your favorite friends, favorite foods, colors, activities, etc. Have them sign their names and pack away to read next year.

Family Game Night– put out the snacks, turn off the TV and pull out those board games. Play the hours away until bedtime! Wish each other a happy new year as you tuck in your little ones.

Scavenger Hunt– using index cards, number them 1-10. Hide the cards throughout the house and let the kids find them. Help them count backward from 10 and end the countdown with hugs and kisses.

Count Down with Kisses– when my girls were just babies, I’d give them a countdown of kisses on their chubby little cheeks as I tucked them in at night. They were too little to understand the whole concept of the year change. But, they could understand how much I love them and my affection is free.

Family Movie Night– pull out the videos you’ve taken through the years, or just in 2015. If you can, play them on the TV and relive the highlights of the year. Snuggle in with blankets and popcorn! Create your own list of best family moments in 2015.

Create a Memory Book– pull out your favorite photos from the year and create a fun scrap book. If all your photos are digital create a fun file of your favorites so you can upload to a site to print out, or create a year book using online sites like Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.

Write a Wish List– your kids have spent the whole year wishing for new things to arrive on Christmas. Why not have them write wishes for the New Year, not for themselves, but for each other? Everyone in the family can write out their wishes on paper and take turns reading them allowed. Seal them in an envelope and mark “Do Not Open Until December 31st 2016.” It will be fun to read everyone’s wishes at the end of the year.

Having little ones to celebrate the New Year holiday with has definitely changed the way we celebrate as a couple. We no longer go out to dinners, and parties, but I wouldn’t change that. Celebrating the count down before bed time and putting the kids to bed at their regular hour gives hubby and me time to be alone and ring in the New Year together. It’s a very low key (and cheap) way for us to spend time together and celebrate as a family.

How do you ring in the New Year with your little ones?

 

The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

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