Our family tradition for the past couple years (since the kids have been old enough to tolerate a major deviation in the schedule) has been to let our kids stay up until midnight, which means all day long, we stretch everything out. Late breakfast, late lunch, rest time around 5, dinner at 8, then maybe a game, some baking, a movie (see...with a well-oiled plan, nobody notices how late it's really getting) and then finally, the big countdown. I'm so strict with our daily routine and bedtimes that it feels extra special for them. They feel so grown up.
This year, with our pals, we added mustaches to the mix. I think it needs to remain a part of the New Year's traditions. I just HAD to show you these.
One bandit, not sleepy. (Until 11:30, when he asked to "take a little nap")
Caught red-handed! Rascally varmints.
2012? It's on.
I also have to share a thought I had this year. When our kids were tiny, I sort of lamented the loss of our freedom on nights such as New Year's Eve. I wished we had the luxury of dressing up, going out on the town, and getting home in the wee hours of the morning one night a year in celebration. I thought our babies were somehow holding us back.
But my whole perspective has changed. Now, the clock strikes midnight and my two beautiful, sleepy-eyed, PJ'd kids are right there brimming with excitement to share hugs, kisses, and sparkling cider toasts in fancy glasses actually made of glass. We all yell "Happy New Year" and embrace not only one another, but a coming year together as a family. Really, there is no where else I'd rather be and no one else with whom I'd rather celebrate. And when I feel like dressing up, I still do. Who says my husband and kids don't deserve a black cocktail dress even though we never leave the couch and the kitchen?
In practicing making the most of the situation, I found that the situation itself - staying home for New Year's with my kids - held the most I could ever want. This year, being with friends too was icing on the cake.
If you can remember back two weeks, how did you celebrate the New Year? Did you stay up? Did you let your kids?