Putting the Fun in Homeschooling

5 Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Teens

Cancelled events, curfews, Covid. As a new year begins, we are all wondering when we can just get back to normal. Not a “new normal”, but normal. Like the beginning of this year. When we could attend concerts, visit amusement parks, work, celebrate the new year, and simply walk down the street – normally. Twenty-twenty has been a thief in so many ways. Now it has stolen my favorite holiday, New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve has been my favorite holiday for years. I have a tradition that dates back to the 80’s, and I’ve only missed it a handful of times. I’m talking about The Oriental Dragon Run. It’s kind of silly, really. You wake up the dragon by beating pots, pans, and other noisemakers, then the dragon wanders down a short stretch of road. The whole thing lasts all of 15 minutes. You can watch from a distance, or you can be part of the dragon by getting under it along with dozens of other revelers ringing in the new year. It’s good luck if you touch the dragon – not that I believe in that sort of thing, but it’s tradition. It’s fun, and the closest thing I’ll ever get to Times Square.

This year, however, the dragon will not run. Instead, it will ride on a trailer through town. I appreciate the decision makers wanting to make this decades-old event still happen, but it’s just not the same. Just like it’s not the same to get your kid’s picture taken with Santa separated by a large partition of plexiglass. Or picking up your lunch from a bag on a tray, or having a 10 o’clock curfew, and on, and on, and on. I realize that no one is really happy about it and are trying their best, but it’s just not right. Something’s got to give! So, while I won’t be driving an hour to catch a glimpse of my beloved dragon being pulled through town on a trailer, Pinterest and I have come up with a few ideas to celebrate at home this year!

Five Ways We’re Ringing in the New Year

After scouring the internet for days, I’ve discovered a number of ways we can still celebrate my favorite holiday. I looked for things that wouldn’t require much prep, as well as not seem too lame for my two teenagers. Our festivities at home will likely not begin until after dinner. I’m planning a few fun activities to pass the time until the clock strikes midnight.

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  • New Year Traditions Around the World. The world is a great big place, and while we are doing things different, we might as well learn some traditions and customs around the globe. Check out these 13 quirky ideas, find even more ideas here, and this pin. Our plans might include 12 grapes, a suitcase, and possibly brightly colored underwear!
  • Minute to Win It Games. I love fun, competitive, low prep games. I found some great ones for New Year’s Eve at PlayPartyPlan and The Idea Room.
  • Have some snacks. I may make this Chex Mix we’ve made before. Strike up some fun conversations with your teens using these would you rather ideas, and reflect on the year with these free printable conversation cards. Another fun idea is to look back on the good things of 2020 with a photo scavenger hunt.
  • Make a Time Capsule. Twenty-twenty may not be a year of fond memories, but definitely a memorable year to say the least. We are living in the midst of some historical events, so this is the year to make our own capsule. We’ll include several of the year’s iconic items along with a few of our own memories to preserve in a long term storage container.
  • Make a New Year, New Memories Jar. For a fun way to end the evening, make a memories jar. Have paper and pen ready to write down the big and small things that happen throughout the year. Fold and place the strips of paper in the jar. Ticket stubs, stickers, and other ephemera would also be nice to add. Next year at this time, we will enjoy reading through the memories we made.

One more thing…….

Even though the world seems off tilt, don’t let it leave you bitter or sad. I fell into that trap for a short time this year. Cranky mama is not a fun mama! Enjoy the ones you love, make memories, and go on being as normal as you possibly can! You choose between what is acceptable and what is ridiculous, keep your hands washed, and LIVE!

I am a memory keeper at heart, and I’m finding I’m even more so the older my kids get! Or maybe the older I get is the case. Who knows, but I wrote a product review recently, and these would make great books to work on all year, then read them through next New Year’s Eve! Be sure to check them out.

Bring it on 2021, we’re ready!

3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Teens”

  1. I love the memory jar idea! We ended up playing Minecraft till Midnight as a family and then going outside to ‘play’ our kids musical instruments. And our neighbor had some ‘fireworks’ in his yard.

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