With the end of the year quickly approaching, I wanted to share one of my favorite traditions that I started with my kiddos, last year. A few years ago I shared our countdown bags and I wanted to update them a little bit so that they weren’t stale.
Each year we set a timer and open a bag an hour from six until 11:55 (its' a struggle to see if the kiddos are going to stay up). I love this tradition because the kiddos can not only participate in the holiday but they can also have something to look forward to and start asking about two days before New Years. I try to change up the bags to keep all parties interested, I usually have at least three children on three different abilities, if not more. It makes it interesting when it comes time to plan the bags. Some years, we did two sets of bags, older and younger kiddos, another year we did a scavenger hunt and the clue led them to the bag to open when the timer when off.
|bags hung up for the older ones-2011|
|we moved all of the furniture out to make room for all the people.|
|This year we did a scavenger hunt and they had to pop the balloon to find the clue.|
Ringing into 2014.....
for the first bag, there were 12 tea light candles and 12 reflection cards, as we reflected on the question on the card, we lite the candle. By the time we were done it has such a pretty glow to it!
To start we lined up all of the candles in a line and kept the light on. We spoke about how this is something that we need to take serious.
Using the note cards to guide the lighting.
|setting up the bags|
|candles all set up!|
February- was a month of love- what was one thing that you absolutely love about the year.
March- What is one thing you wish you could change?
April-Name one way that you grew this year?
May- all things start new- what is a new goal for the upcoming year?
June- Summer starts and is time for fun- what was your favorite adventure?
July- Happy Birthday America- what was your favorite thing about your party, and toys/gifts are not allowed to be part of the answer!
August- Throughout the year, we miss our different friends and family, in this upcoming year, who is someone you want to make an effort to see more often?
September- The new school year started- what was the hardest subject for you in school?
October- Fall has arrived- what is one thing you "fell" for?
November-Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful- are you still thankful for (fill in what you shared at Thanksgiving.)
December- Time to spend time with family, what is your favorite family tradition, it can be from Christmas or any other tradition that we do? and why is this your favorite?
|short, sweet and simple!|
|all of our reflections!|
The next bag, which is usually just filled with some sort of trinket, was filled with their champagne flutes, jello and ginger ale. We created jello champagne to have during our midnight toast. It's super easy, instead of using cold water, you use the Ginger ale. Mix up the jello mix and place them in the flutes!
The next four bags were filled with noisemakers, bubbles, crowns, hats and silly string (the usual). Again, wanting to change it up, the 11:55 bag, became 11:35. This particular bag was filled with pancake mix, cookie cutters, syrup, and firework sticks.
I love having my first breakfast as a family, with more and more events taking place at this time, the kiddos had so many places to be, we decided to have our new year breakfast at midnight when we rang in the new year! By the time we were finished making the pancake mix, cooking them and cutting out the numbers it was time for the 11:55 run to turn on the TV and get ready to count the ball drop.
|2014 pancakes, banana slices and of course a festive firework!|
I love our new tradition and cannot wait to do it again this year.Happy New Year!