New Year’s Eve Traditions, Old & New


new year's eveThere is nothing I want more at this time than to put 2020 behind me. This year has had a lot of disappointment. I worry about looking ahead for fear of more canceled plans and sadness. That said, it may be even more important to keep the New Year’s Eve (old and new!) traditions and happy moments alive on this New Year’s Eve, 2020. 

Old Traditions 

Growing up, my dad had his own take on the holiday season. All the lights, decorations, and parties you could think of. So, of course, on New Year’s Eve, we always had a large family gathering. NYE coincided with birthday parties for my grandfather, too. We would later find out that his birthday wasn’t actually January 1st, but something got mixed up in the records from 1919. Anyhow, back to New Year’s Eve.  

We would always have a lengthy list of foods to prepare. My sisters and I would make an appetizer, cream cheese spread on celery sticks and topped with Maraschino cherries. It seemed weird then and still does, but we all agree it’s yummy. It looks festive, too! 

Some other ideas for NYE menu planning:

  • Lil Smokies in Sauce – Throw it in the crockpot on low all day – so good! Here’s a recipe to help you plan.  
  • Charcuterie Board – Ours included kielbasa slices, cheese, crackers, and pepperoni. You can change this to your preferences, too.
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip – Always a hit at any party! Here is the classic recipe straight from the side of the hot sauce bottle.
  • Assorted Desserts – Use up those holiday treats!
  • Adult Beverages – Your preference here, of course. Growing up, I remember my uncles and parents having highballs. (Not my first choice, haha).

New Traditions 

This year, New Year’s Eve might mean being home with just your immediate family. This has been tough on me, as our closest family is three hours away. Here are some coping strategies to get you through this time of COVID-19 and the pandemic.

Being a parent of smaller children, late nights are a thing of the past. Therefore, celebrating New Year’s Eve looks a bit different these days. Since we’re likely to be home this year (thanks again, COVID), I’ve come up with some ideas on how to celebrate:

  • Watch a (family) movie.
  • Enjoy fun snacks (hint: involving the kids in making snacks is usually extra fun for them).
  • Get some fun decorations and involve the kids with noisemakers and party poppers.
  • If you want to liven things up a bit, have a family dance party!

Finally, crawl into bed well before the ball actually drops. Why might you ask? Well, my girls have been early risers since, well, forever. Early to bed and early to rise. For me, that means not straying from their bedtime schedule too much, or I am in for a not so fun next day. Cranky kids equal cranky parents, and no one wants to start a new year like that!

For New Year’s Day, plan a fun brunch and involve the kids in helping make it. I know my girls enjoy helping with the first meal of the day. Pancakes, bacon, and eggs are some tried and true favorites! Perhaps the grown-ups might have some leftover champagne to make some mimosas to kick off the start of 2021! Enjoy!

Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year! Share your favorite New Year’s Eve traditions or recipe below.

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Clara is a part-time working mom that lives in Trumbull, CT. She and her husband, Joe, were high school sweethearts that began their journey in Upstate NY (think capital region part of NY). Together, they moved to Fairfield County in 2006, after college graduations. Clara will forever hold the magic of Disney in her heart, as she and her husband got engaged in Epcot Center in 2010. She married Joe on a cruise ship in 2011, with 60 close family and friends in attendance. Clara is the proud mommy to two girls Abby {Sept 2013} and Sofia {May 2017}. In addition to being "Mommy," Clara is an Early Childhood Consultant. Outside of her two jobs, you may find her on a cruise, or traveling to New York to visit family.


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