Ready to ring in the new year

South Shore Breaker - - Health& Wellness - GINA BELL EAST COAST MOMMY

I’ve never been a per­son who loves get­ting dressed up, spend­ing a lot of money and fight­ing crowds on New Year’s Eve. Fancy din­ners and dances were fine when I was younger, but now that I have kids, I like to ring in the new year with them in comfy clothes.

With my boys’ crazy hockey sched­ules and af­ter the chaos of Christ­mas, I re­ally do ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing a re­laxed New Year’s Eve with my fam­ily and a few friends.

For the last sev­eral years, my hus­band and I have en­joyed a low-key New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tion with our kids and some of our neigh­bour­hood friends. It’s a ca­sual party, but we do man­age to make it spe­cial with fan­tas­tic food and a few fun DIY de­tails.

The best part of the night for my kids and their friends is open­ing the ac­tiv­ity count­down bags I put to­gether for them ev­ery year. Each bag has a time on it and con­tains a treat, trin­ket or ac­tiv­ity and the kids open a new bag ev­ery hour un­til mid­night. It’s a fun way to keep the kids en­ter­tained and it helps build the an­tic­i­pa­tion as they count down to the new year.

Some items I have used to fill ac­tiv­ity bags in past years in­clude the fol­low­ing: “Year in re­view” ques­tion­naires, craft sup­plies to make hats and noise­mak­ers, bal­loons, pop­corn, hot choco­late, props for a photo booth, games, noise­mak­ers and cook­ies.

Of course, it’s im­por­tant to set the stage with New Year’s Eve dec­o­ra­tions. Us­ing marked down Christ­mas decor in gold and sil­ver is a clever idea. This year, I pur­chased an adorable sil­ver and gold gar­land and a glit­tery gold wreath. When I hang them on Dec. 31, no one will know they were meant for Christ­mas.

Fes­tive food is also a must. I love pur­chas­ing store-bought for­tune cook­ies, dip­ping them in melted white choco­late, adding colour­ful sprin­kles and let­ting them dry on a piece of waxed pa­per. They look su­per fancy and fes­tive on a sil­ver tray and they taste great. I also like to serve cook­ies and milk (in plas­tic wine­glasses) at mid­night for a spe­cial kid-friendly ver­sion of a mid­night toast.

And no party is com­plete with­out a few fun party favours. This year, I am print­ing four-inch by six-inch cards that say, “Make 2019 Sparkle!” I’m cut­ting a cou­ple of slits in each one and I’m in­sert­ing sparklers. I’m also fill­ing small plas­tic wine­glasses with Her­shey’s Kisses, adding a noise­maker and pack­ag­ing them with tags that say, “Mid­night Kisses.” And fi­nally, ev­ery child at the party will be leav­ing with a candy ring that says, “Ring in the new year!”

Lit­tle DIY de­tails don’t take a lot of time or money, but they do make a cel­e­bra­tion mem­o­rable and spe­cial. My blog (East­ has many ideas for New Year’s Eve fam­ily fun, in­clud­ing all the tags I men­tioned above, so pop on over to check them out.

I hope you are able to ring in 2019 sur­rounded by your most trea­sured fam­ily and friends. Happy new year from my fam­ily to yours!

Gina Bell

New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tions can be sim­ple and fun with the right DIY ideas.

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