5 Unusual Ideas for Celebrating the New Year

by ChristinaPilkington on December 24, 2011 · 8 comments

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We’re almost to the end of a New Year. Has it gone fast for you?

It always seems to go fast for me, yet when I reflect back at all the wonderful experiences and things I’ve done with my family during the last twelve months, it’s also seems like a long, full time, too.

I’ve come up with a few ideas for celebrating the coming New Year. As you celebrate with the traditions and activities loves to do each year, here are a few new things you might want to try too.



 5 Unusual Ideas for Celebrating the New Year

1) Create a Non-Vision Board.  Have you ever heard of A Vision Board? The idea is that you draw, or cut out pictures or photographs , or write words on a large poster board that represent those things that you want to create in your life.  It could be a physical item you want like a new camera, or a quality you want to strengthen in your life like kindness.  You can also put of images of jobs you’d like to pursue, new activities you’d like to try and images of what you’d like you life to look like in the future.

Well, instead of creating a poster symbolizing what you’d like in your life, how about creating a board that shows what you’d like to keep out of your life this year? This could be bad habits you’d like to get rid of, negative thought patterns, clutter in your life and anything else you feel is getting in the way of living the life you’d like to live.

So many times we create a list of New Year’s resolutions, but our lives are too cluttered with those things that we don’t need; we don’t have any room to add anything positive or new. Practice getting rid of the old before trying to cram something new in a space that’s already full.

2) Research the history of calendars.  Where did our current calendar system come from? Do all parts of the world use the same calendar? What were ancient calendars like?   Here are some sites to get you started: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0002061.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPk8g6HbFNA, http://www.rmg.co.uk/upload/pdf/Calendars-from-around-the-world.pdf.

3) Play the game Connections. I made up this game when I taught public school, and even then it was a favorite. You can play it in a variety of different ways.  Here’s how to play it for New Year’s Eve:

List one thing that your family did during the year and put that word or phrase in the middle of a sheet of paper. Then branch off from that original word or phrase with three or four other things that connect with the original word.  From there you can keep branching off the other branches and make connections.

For example:  I put down San Diego in the middle of my sheet of paper. From San Diego I have branches that say Lego Land, beaches, movie nights and Galapagos Islands.   Then from the branch Lego land I can branch off in four new directions with Star Wars, rides, creativity and Empire State Building. From the branch beaches I can branch off with the words: tide pools, cliffs, waves, and salt.

After you make about three or four different layers of the branches, think of a different activity your family did during the year. Now have each person look at your connections board and see how many different branches they can connect the new activity to.

In my example I’ll use watching the Harry Potter movies together as a family. I can connect that to creativity because J.K.Rowlings was pretty creative to come up with the Harry Potter books. I can connect it to the Galapagos Islands because there are sea creatures there and Krum turned into a shark during the Tri-Wizard Championship in the 4th Harry Potter book/movie. I can connect Harry Potter to salt because salt stings when you put it on an open sore and Harry Potter is always stinging from the things the Dursleys do to him. I can connect the movies to Lego land because there were Harry Potter Lego sets for sale at that theme park.

You can play for fun or have each person receive one point for as many new connections they can make to what’s already on the board. This is a really fun way for kids to make new and different connections to things that may not seem otherwise connected, and to see the patterns and connections of things they are already doing in their lives.

4) Check out New Year’s Eve Traditions from Around the World. Here are a few sites to get you started: http://www.squidoo.com/newyearsevetop10, http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/44088, http://www.topics-mag.com/internatl/holidays/new-year/customs/around_the_world.htm.

5) Play Guess What We Did on that Date Game.  This idea will only work if you keep track of what your family does throughout the year by keeping an online blog, a written journal, calendar or other way of tracking activities throughout the year.

Have each member of the family call out a random day or week from the past year – May 24th or the week of October 2nd.  Then each person tries to guess what happened on that day. You can play just for fun, or each person can get one point for each detail they remember. Have fun looking back over the past year!


Photo Credit:wrestlingentrophy

Do you have any unusual ways you celebrate the New Year at your home?

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