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Tighten the Family Bond


Each year, I entertain visions of a fancy New Year’s Eve party. The hubby and I decked out in formal wear, dancing the night away while champagne flows endlessly in a nearby fountain. Then, I wake up and realize that kind of bash is not for my season of life. Not because I’m “a mom,” but it’s not practical with six growing mouths to feed.

In the world of diapers, carpools and missing school papers, the reality of New Year’s can be watching the ball drop on the television and hoping the neighbors’ fireworks don’t wake the baby.

Ringing in the 2016, New Year’s can be fun for the entire family. The minutes are ticking by, and our children will only be young for a little while. Developing strong relationships with our children don’t just happen—you must work at them. A great way to do so is to have fun together. Let’s help them celebrate and look at the passing of time with excitement and anticipation.

Here are some suggestions for spending the last and first days of the year with your folks, big and little. Making the most of the season you are in—now that has a ring to it.

Scrap it. As a family, create a scrapbook page of all the past year’s events. Reflect on how your family’s life is richer than it was twelve months ago. You’ll be surprised at how much your family has accomplished over the last year.

Game-a-thon. Invite some friends and their children over for a game night. Set up as many tables and chairs as you can so games can be played simultaneously. Consider old time classics like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Candy Land, and battle- ship, as well as some newer games, such as Blockus, Rush Hour, or Apples to Apples. Try to choose games for a wide-range of ages and be sure to provide plenty of munchies and drinks.

A Few of My Favorites. Host a dinner party, asking young and old friends to bring their favorite food as well as their favorite movie. Scan the movies for what would be appropriate for all ages and send a ballot around. Get the buckets of popcorn ready and pass the night away, taking in some fun flicks.

Here are some suggestions for spending the last and first days of the year with your folks, big and little. Making the most of the season you’re in—now that has a ring to it.

Scrap it. As a family, create a scrapbook page of all the past year’s events. Reflect on how your family’s life is richer than it was twelve months ago. You’ll be surprised at how much your family has accomplished over the last year.

Game-a-thon. Invite some friends and their children over for a game night. Set up as many tables and chairs as you can so games can be played simultaneously. Consider old time classics like Monopoly, Yahtzee, Candy Land, and battle- ship, as well as some newer games, such as Blockus, Rush Hour, or Apples to Apples. Try to choose games for a wide-range of ages and be sure to provide plenty of munchies and drinks.

A Few of My Favorites. Host a dinner party, asking young and old friends to bring their favorite food as well as their favorite movie. Scan the movies for what would be appropriate for all ages and send a ballot around. Get the buckets of popcorn ready and pass the night away, taking in some fun flicks.

Happy New Year’s cake. Each year is the birth of a fresh start. Celebrate with a special “birthday” cake. Bake up a boxed mix and let the children help with the frosting and sprinkles. Top it off with number candles that spell “2011.” make sure you take a picture of the family blowing out the candles together.

Extreme Closet Makeover. Chances are, stuff is just bursting out of dressers and closets thanks to the re- cent holiday gift giving. Turn on some tunes and whistle while you work with each child, sorting out unwanted or unused clothing with the purpose
of donating them to a local shelter or thrift store.

Goals/dreams. Sit down as a family and think of all the things you would like to do, individually and as a family in the New Year. Consider it a life list for 2016. What trips would you like to take? What skill would you like to learn? Perhaps there’s a new sport or adventure activity that you can try together. Are there movies you’d like to see? Books to read? What character traits would you like to grow in, or see your children grow in? Make a list of goals for the next year and place it where all can see. Be deliberate in planning ways to execute these goals.

Plan to serve. Choose one way for your family to serve others in the coming year. Whether it is delivering meals on wheels or visiting folks in the local rest home, there is bound to be something that will fit your family’s interests and season of life. Contact your local church, synagogue, soup kitchen, food pantry, or Red Cross for volunteer ideas. What better way to enter the New Year than to purpose to make life a little easier for someone else? 

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03 Jun 2016


By Jessica Fisher

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