New Year – A Family Survival Guide

It’s funny when you think about it. New Year is when we mark the passing of time in a very specific way, but for many of us the celebrations themselves cause us to shake our heads in disbelief and wonder where the time went.

From those childhood days when it was something referred to but not really understood, to hassling our parents to being allowed to stay up and see the new year in, to those carefree years when New Year was a bigger deal than Christmas, and we just couldn’t wait to get the party started.

Of course, there were years that were less memorable than others. As naïve teens, most of us have had new year parties we would rather forget, whether it is because we “peaked too soon” with the festive cheer, we innocently headed off to London thinking that just showing up at Trafalgar Square would be a good idea, or some other blunder that we had to chalk down to history.

Of course, we are older and wiser now, with kids of our own, so New Year holds no fears for us, right? Hardly. It’s just that the challenges change – here are some tips to survive the festivities when you are middle aged with a brood of kids. Good luck!

Don’t be fooled by the teens

One of Judge Judy’s most famous quotes is: “Do you know how to tell when a teenager is lying? Their mouth is moving.” Harsh, perhaps, but whatever they tell you they have in mind for New Year, there’s a better than average chance a few drinks will be involved.

The ideal way around it is to host your own New Year’s party for them. It won’t prevent the sneaky smuggling of prohibited moonshine, but at least you will be able to keep a sharp eye on what is happening.

If you go down this road, it is essential to keep them corralled in a particular area. The last thing you need is to find stray teenagers exploring the bedrooms, so lay down the law and get onto a company like my safety sign to make it absolutely clear what areas are out of bounds.

Stay out of town

Even if someone else has bitten the bullet and taken the kids for the night, don’t be tempted to go into town. Even a favourite venue turns into a seething mass on New Year’s eve, and the streets will be full of drunken revellers. In the unlikely event that you can find a taxi, they will be charging the earth, so stay away.

Of course, if you have a local pub in walking distance, that could be another matter, especially if it is a place you go regularly. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the neighbours and build some community spirit.

Don’t be over-ambitious

If you stay in to see the new year in with your nearest and dearest, a bottle of fizz is a great accompaniment, but don’t start too early or you will peak too soon. This is particularly important advice if you have little ones tucked up in bed – they’ll be up at the usual time in the morning, no matter what!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative guest post.  

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