Well, when you put off posting for 2 months, you find out who your friends are. I'm surprised anyone is still reading, but a couple of you have asked about the scavenger hunt on New Year's Eve. So, I'll share with you what we did, and it won't take long for you to realize that it really wasn't that big of a deal.
The idea wasn't even mine. I stole the whole thing from my bloggy friend Cindy. (Here's where I would normally link to her blog, but she went all private and stuff, so you'll just have to trust me.)
This is the second year we've done a New Year's Eve scavenger hunt. Last year we did one for just our little family, and this year we invited some friends to join us. Both years we made it to midnight without someone falling asleep or killing one of the kids. That's success in my book.
When the kids wake up the morning of New Year's Eve, they find the fire place hearth looking like this...
...and they think it's Christmas all over again. Basically, each package contains some sort of family activity for the evening and has a note attached specifying what time the gift can be opened. They spend all day looking at the packages, arranging and rearranging them in the order they are to be opened and anticipating what fun is being hidden inside the paper.
I keep this night in mind as I'm shopping the Christmas sales looking for a cheap movie, game, or other activity. For us, the idea is to keep the night full of anticipation and exciting activities so that letting the kids stay up til midnight sounds like a wonderful idea instead of a torturous one.
Some of the activities we've used are:
- a family movie matinee (because it's cheaper)
- a kid friendly dinner (last year it was McDonald's and we killed some time by letting the kids play on the toys)
- a new Wii game (this year I found Deal or No Deal for $10 before Christmas)
- a new board game
- ingredients to make dessert and a late night snack (decorate cookies, make brownies, banana splits, Chex mix, etc.)
- this year since we invited another family to join us, we had dinner at their house and then later in the evening we moved to our house for dessert (kinda' like a progressive dinner)
- last year to provide a break for the adults, we got a new DVD the kids hadn't seen (you can usually find older movies at Walmart for $5 - $7) and we tucked them into our bed to watch it while we watched a more grown up movie Honey had gotten for Christmas
- sparkling cider, cups, hats, and horns to celebrate when it's finally midnight
Some ideas I've thought of but never done are:
- getting really crazy and buying the kids all new pjs to go with the new DVD
- doing some sort of craft (maybe make a frame to display a picture of the family ringing in the new year)
- playing a tournament using a Wii game we already own (ie: bowling, golf, Wii fit, etc)
I think it would fun to do this one night during the summer. The kids are always begging to stay up late during the summer. You could throw a party to kick off summer, or to provide entertainment for the evening while you wait for the fireworks to start on the 4th of July, or maybe it could be an end-of-summer bash. You could include all sorts of outside activities before you had to move indoors.
What do you think? Any other suggestions?