One of the fabulous things about having yapped at you all for so many years is that I have lots of old ramblings to snatch when I have my hands full. Below is an example, written in the Magical Childhood newsletter seven years ago (!) that I am swiping now to go cuddle a small boy back to bed. I am suddenly feeling old.
10 Ways to Make the New Year Magical…..
1. Get out the wine glasses (plastic if you like) for New Year’s supper and serve sparkling juice. Go around the table making wishes for the new year for each other.
2. Together, make up some fortunes (both serious and silly, but all good) and write them on slips of paper. Roll the paper up into tubes and tie with ribbon, then place in a bowl. Take turns drawing fortunes and read them aloud.
3. Take out the calendar for next year and randomly fill in dates with fun things to do. They don’t have to be big things. Make an appointment to eat supper in the back yard in June, to go to a matinee with your toddler in October, to all wear blue on February 9th…
4. For each family member, take a sheet of paper and record the highlights of the past year. Make a list of accomplishments, challenges, milestones, bad & good events, best friends, favorite activities, etc. Take the time to make it beautiful and either slip it into a scrapbook or photo album. Invite the kids to help decorate the pages. Don’t forget to do one for you, too!
5. Make a goal collage for next year. Grab some old magazines and have everybody cut out words, pictures and images that represent good stuff for the new year. Either fill a scrapbook page for each person or start a family altered book from an old textbook and have each person make her/his own page.
6. Make a symbolic fresh start. For each family member, clean a small area somewhere on New Year’s Eve. Each person should help clear & organize her/his own space. Whether it’s cleaning off mom’s desk, organizing a toddler’s book shelf or making a teen’s vanity table beautiful again, start the new year with a peaceful, tidy spot to focus on.
7. Make breakfast wish roll-ups. On New Year’s morning, spread crepes or warmed flour tortillas with spreadable cream cheese. Fill a plastic baggie with blueberry (or other berry) syrup and snip just the tip of the bag. Help pipe symbolic one word wishes over the cream cheese (friends, $, A+, love…) and then roll up. Serve with extra syrup for dipping and eat your words!
8. Invite each family member to make a list of goals for the new year. These don’t have to be resolutions but merely things each person wants to accomplish. Some can be simple, some hard, some humorous… anything goes. Save the sheets in a safe place for next year and then take a look at what everybody has accomplished (and what doesn’t seem to matter anymore) a year later.
9. Take the piles of art you’ve saved from this year and all of those old math papers, activity sheets and history quizzes. Ask the children to put aside the special stuff and cull a nice pile of them to make streamers by running them through the paper shredder. At midnight (or an earlier hour for little ones), do the countdown and toss it all in the air.
As long as there are no strange papers in there, the whole mess can be cleaned up and used as mulch on the garden, meaning that the art and history will help flowers grow in the new year. No garden? Mulch some house plants.
10. Write a letter to your child, summing up the past year and expressing all your love and pride. Date it & leave it on the pillow New Year’s Eve. (For younger kids, read it to them before bed and put it someplace safe for later.)
I wish you and your families all the best for the new year. It’s so easy to get caught up in the mayhem and the clutter and the lists of what we ought to be doing. Don’t forget what the biggest things on your to-do lists should be– having fun, loving the heck out of your children & relishing life.
Slow down. Give things up. Laugh it off. Make each day count, with at least one thing that is magical or truly matters. And give yourself a break!
And when life gets crazy this year, take the advice of those wisest of people (aerobics instructors) and don’t forget to breathe.
Happy New Year!!
Alicia (December 29, 2003)
Talk to you tomorrow!
Alicia (nearly 2011!)