Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

This has become one of our family's favorite holidays!  We took an idea that was shared some years ago on the FIAR boards and used it to add excitement and sweet memories to this night!  If you haven't tried it before, I highly recommend it.  You can do it anyway you like - starting earlier or later.  Ending earlier.  Changing the activities, food, etc.  Its just a fun way to countdown the hours!  You could also use this to countdown to other things too.  I enjoy (and so do my children) counting down to the New Year.

We have done this enough years now that we don't even have to do too much planning ahead - which is nice as its not like there is a lot of free time just before  NYE.  We like watching a movie though and that does need to be planned.  I purchased colored bags at WalMart that were 10 for $1.  I printed the clock faces here.  Each bag had a clue pinned to the bag and something in the bag that related to the activity.

 1st clue:  This was supposed to go with the game Silly Expressions which I couldn't find so I pulled out another game I'd bought at a consignment sale which we had never played.  It was a hit!

People are silly and funny too!
Do you think they are sometimes blue?
Maybe they’re happy or perhaps mad
A game of expressions will make you glad!

 We had teams of 2 and each team drew 8 cards.  On the cards were listed various things that you had to do or find or draw or make.  You were to try to do as many of them as possible - and could be creative.  You had 30 minutes to complete as many as possible.
Just a little cuteness.
 Teammates would divide and conquer and it was great hearing the laughter!

 Making a hat
 Some of the items that were collected, drawn and made.  After 30 minutes, each team shared what they had done for each item on the list.
 This was a really fun game and great for a mix of ages!
 My children enjoy taking turns drawing things out of the bags.    Many of my clues were the same as in years past - or slightly modified.  Nobody seems to mind doing many of the same things!

2nd clue:  In the bag were things to make noisemakers.
Let’s get ready for some noise.
This is for the girls and the boys.
We’ll also need signs to mark the date.
Take photos of families to start the slate.

 We made them from paper plates.  Simple and each person can do as much or little as they want.
 We used popcorn as our filler.  I love seeing Eliana doing things on her own.
 Draw on a plate.  Fold in half.  Fill with popcorn or beans.  Staple shut.  Couldn't be easier!
 The next bag was a last minute addition to the evening.  And boy was it a HIT!

3rd clue:
Its time to be silly, time to run free
Open the bag and you will see!

Silly String!

 We headed outside.  It was dark but not too cold.  I just love the expressions on their faces!
 The photographer wasn't immune from getting sprayed.
 Can't you just see the fun they are having?

 All of them loved this and their only complaint was that I hadn't bought more cans of it.  They were from the dollar store.  We will definitely be doing that again next year!

 4rd clue:
We are eating something different this year.
Its still familiar, delicious and fun
Help us chop and cook and serve. 
Everyone will be glad when we are done.

This was a change.  We usually make pizzas and they each design their own with choices of many toppings. We decided to do tacos this year.  It was not received well by some of mine.  I think we'll have to switch back to pizza next year.  This was just easier to do GF in large quantities.

While we were cooking, they played some games.  Good thing since we ran out of time for some of the games later in the evening.  This was Minute to Win It.  Challenges to do things ... like building a card house.
 Silly races.
 Blowing cards across the table.  Light and fun.
5th clue:  In the bag - papers with questions, pens and lollipops
What makes you special and unique?      
Getting to know this is a treat.
We’ll look to the future and ponder the past,
Seeking to follow God each day of our path.

I love this part!  Its fun to see what  people will say and I think it makes a neat keepsake from year to year.  After recording the answers, we take turns reading the answers for each question trying to figure out who wrote each answer.
 Its not always easy to answer and sometimes hearing someone else's answer will remind you of something you forgot.  Its funny too to see when your answer is the same as someone else's.
 Just makes me smile.
 6th clue:  In the bag - sprinkles and other decorating items.
God made you and you can’t beat that!
Glasses, freckles or a funny hat.
Our faces help others know who we are,
But our insides are what make us a star.

My sweet friend Rebecca made these homemade gingerbread men ... GLUTEN FREE!  I'm so blessed to have such a thoughtful friend willing to do this!  

And they tasted good too!

 Cookies are fun to decorate and we saw a lot of creative expression!!!
 They work  hard on these and its fun.  Its not an activity that I do often at all so I'm glad to have this at least once a year!

 Can you guess who this is?
 Does this help?  Have you seen the movie "Tangled"?
 7th clue:  In the bag - movie Narnia and popcorn
It’s time for adventure and maybe a giggle
Find a spot to sit and don’t wiggle
Does anyone need something to eat
You can have some popcorn while in your seat

We watch the movie on the "big screen" - a sheet hung on the wall with a projector playing the movie from our laptop.  Its such a great movie.  Even though we've seen it before, its fun to see it again!
 8th clue:
Let’s turn our hearts to God and lift up our prayer
He is here with us and out everywhere.
There are others who need Him and we play a part
We’ll pray for others and seek His heart.

Each person writes something that they want prayer for on the slip of paper.  Each person draws one of the slips and go around the table praying for each other's requests. 
 Family Photos

 It's almost time!

9th clue:
It’s time to say good-bye to ‘11
Watching the ball drop is a fun time again
A hug, a prayer, a sweet drink for the toast
Happy New Year, it’s 2012!

We watch the ball drop, toast with Sprite (this way we can get diet - its still bubbly - and much better for a diabetic).  

 Don't forget the shakers!

 We also played some fun Charades using a word generator found  at this site.

 What a fun night spent with family and friends!  We have much to be thankful for and are looking forward to the New Year!