For many, New Year’s Eve brings to mind boisterous parties, fireworks, champagne, finger foods, and merriment into the wee hours of the morning. Some feel there’s simply no better way to ring in the new year. If that’s you, cheers!
For others, though, New Year’s Eve is a time to slow down, reflect on the year ending and the one about to begin, and to enjoy a peaceful night at home while the revelers do their reveling. These people (raises hand) feel there’s simply no better way to ring in the New Year. If that’s you, then snuggle in and pour yourself a wee cuppa (as my grandmother would say) while we look over our recipe for a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
Like any good cook would, use your own taste to determine the best combination of ingredients to satisfy your palette. Here are the ingredients I use to pull together a delightfully peaceful New Year’s Eve.
1 tidy home
1 nutritious meal (stew, pot roast, soup) in the slow-cooker that any member of the family can serve themselves at any time, with baked potatoes and lovely breads, warm and ready on the side
1 array of holiday sweet treats, leftover but still delightful for the last hurrah
3-4 inviting, screen-free activities for the family to enjoy separately or together (ie, puzzles, board games, arts & crafts, books)
1 station set up for coffee and tea, with various flavors and caffeine options
1 cup of beautiful, colored pens
2-3 pads of lovely stickers
1 stack of inspiring books
1 cozy blanket
3-4 comfy pillows
1 pair fuzzy socks
1 soft and cozy lounge outfit
1 peaceful music playlist
Pulling off a peaceful New Year’s Eve may not be as easy as it sounds. For peace of mind to envelop you, especially if you’re a mom like me, you want to set the stage for your worries to fade into oblivion. This calls for preparation.
A day or two before, prepare your slow-cooker meal, so that all you’ll need to do on the morning of New Year’s Eve is turn it on. Have your sides ready to go as well. The morning of, set out plates or bowls, utensils, and serving spoons to let your family members (if they’re old enough) serve themselves.
Also, a day or two before, tidy up the house. The holidays are winding down and the aftermath may be a tad messy. Get everything put away. If you’re very motivated, perhaps that means taking down the holiday decor as well. Either way, the key is getting your home to a state that makes you feel proud and at peace.
Early in the day on New Year’s Eve, set out the leftover holiday treats for your family to enjoy. Cookies, pies, hors d’oeuvres, and more can all make a relaxing day at home feel like a celebration. Additionally, ensure you’ve got tea, coffee, hot cocoa, or other warm beverages and their accompaniments ready to go with a beverage station for the family.
To entertain the kiddos, lay out an array of arts and crafts supplies at the kitchen table, or set out a puzzle or board game, inviting them to take part. In addition, “strew” (as they say in homeschool circles) delightful books about your home for your children to discover and enjoy at their leisure.
To enhance the environment, display candles (flameless if you’re concerned about the safety of young ones) and turn on a long playlist of calm, enjoyable music for the whole family.
As for yourself, stay comfy in your softest lounge clothes, pull on your fuzzy socks, and set up your favorite spot in the house with pillows, a blanket, your journal, pens, stickers, and a giant stack of inspiring books to peruse throughout the day.
Then, let the day be. Enjoy your family. Write in your journal from the standpoint of gratitude and goals. Pause to play, have a snack, get some fresh air, enjoy some tea, take a nap, read, and play some more. Take a day to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
Bonus: The next day, New Year’s Day, wake up early. Gather the family and go for a drive in the county or explore your city. Last night’s revelers will all be sound asleep and you’ll start off the year with what will seem like the world to yourselves.
Happy New Year!