by Lori Merrill
Last year one of our previous team members and friend to the ministry (Rachel Castor) contributed an article about her family’s tradition at New Year’s Eve. I loved the idea and wished we would have known about it when our children were young. My daughter was planning to have several friends over for a New Year’s Eve get-together so I decided to adapt Rachel’s idea for my daughter and her friends. They were all college freshmen at the time and my daughter was a little nervous about what her mother might have planned she thought it might be a little juvenile. However, between the anticipation of each sack, the fun activities and the silly little poems I made up, they all seemed to have a blast. You are welcome to use the following ideas and poems or adapt them to the needs of your guests! Enjoy and Happy New Year!!!
Welcome to the Merrill’s for New Year’s Eve!
We are excited to have you for a night of fun
We have the night planned by hour; one by one.
By the times listed, you will open a sack
Do not peak inside or we might take it back.
Enjoy the activity for the next hour,
It will require your patience and lots of power
To withhold from moving too fast through the night,
Relax and receive each minute’s delight!
You are friends that our Brooke holds very dear,
So I am glad you are together to ring in the NEW YEAR!
(This first sack had mini finger nail polish bottles with a variety of colors. I had lots of newspaper on hand to cover our snack bar and they sat at the counter and painted their nails.)
Some time in the kitchen
Is what this hour holds,
Let’s watch all of you working
And see how this adventure unfolds.
A yummy snack to save
for later tonight,
To eat another hour
Will be such a delight!
(This sack had the recipe and ingredients for Holiday Pretzel Treats. It is available at FamilyFun.com.)
It is time to hit the road
So in the car you will load.
Since the night is long
You need to get something strong.
So to Starbucks you will go
To get a cup of Joe!
(This sack contained a Starbucks gift card for each girl to get a drink.)
A time to play is at hand
As you be-bop with the band.
Or try your skill at keeping time
While you say the words before the chime.
Either game will work for you
Just play them both with no boos.
Be a good sport and before you know
A winning team will surely show!
(This sack contained the game Bop It and Catch Phrase)
Now it is time to sit right back
Watch a movie and enjoy a snack.
A mystery and a little scary too
Is what we have chosen just for you!
(I rented an Alfred Hitchcock movie for them to watch: Rear Window.)
A little spontaneous and wild fun,
Even some laughing while on the run.
This is different and a little crazy
But will keep you awake & away from lazy.
Grab your weapon in the sack
No time to plan your attack!
(I filled the sack with Nerf guns that were already loaded so that the war began right when they opened the sack. We already owned the toy guns so it wasn’t an expense and they stayed with us afterwards too.)
Now it is time to welcome the New Year
Look in the sack to find your gear.
Toot those horns and wear your hats
Take some pics as you give out your pats.
You have made it through another year
Go forward this day without any fear.
For God will sustain you as you depend on Him each day
Give this year to Him so that in His care you will stay!
Happy New Year!
(This sack contained New Year hats and party horns. For younger girls you could include a disposable camera.)
Lori Merrill, 12-31-10
To see Rachel Castor’s original family New Year’s Eve article please click here.
How would you adapt these activities for a group of teen boys?
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