New Year’s Eve: Family party or time for adults?

As New Year’s Eve approaches I’m trying decide if we should spend it as a couple or as a family.

For the last two years we’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve with other families. Two years ago we had a dinner party with two other couples. The kids ran wild in the basement after dinner and played karoke with the adults later. I think they left before midnight but they were all worn out.

Last year our friends threw a family party at their pool clubhouse. The girls had fun dressing up a little bit and getting sparkly. The dad’s played poker while the moms visited. The kids ran around and did some crafts. The highlight was shooting off fireworks around 10:30 pretending it was midnight. The kids had a great time.

This year we haven’t heard of any family parties, but we have been invited to a couple’s party. We thought we were going to go until Rose asked “What party are WE going to for New Year’s?”

Her expectation now is that we will always celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family. I would feel terrible leaving her behind.

Also now that the kids understand what New Year’s is, it seems kind of appropriate to celebrate a brand new year – a brand new start — with the most important people in your world.

Maybe we’ll make some Chinese food and invite families over again.

Is New Year’s Eve meant for couples or families to celebrate? Do you go out? Do you stay in?

Do you celebrate with other families? What do you do as a family? How late do the kids get to stay up?

48 comments Add your comment


December 29th, 2009
10:47 am

We have no plans at all foor NYE. Kind of sad. I used to go to a concert every year when I was younger. We’d get a nice room downtown and stay up all night.

Last year I think I lit a fire in the back yard and drank a few beers with a neighbor while the kids played. I was probably in bed by 11.

I am lucky enough to have had my child at a relatively young age (26). So, when he gets old enough to go do his own NYE, I will still be young enough to go have fun too.


December 29th, 2009
11:02 am

I don’t think there’s a rule, here, whether New Year’s Eve MUST be spent as a couple, or MUST be spent with family.

I tend to go for the family gatherings, simply because the kids enjoyed it so much, too, and I enjoyed their pleasure. Plus, my husband and I aren’t real party animals, anyway, so I don’t feel constrained or like I’m missing out. Just having some friends over and enjoying the evening is fine with me.

Growing up, my parents were friends with a group of adults who all had kids the same age. The adults would go to the country club for the party — it was always fun to watch my mother get dressed for it, it was always formal. The kids (9 of us) were all left at one house with a couple of babysitters, where we played games all night long (Twister, card games, Monopoly, etc), and shot off firecrackers and bottle rockets at midnight (hey, it was the 60’s!) We all spent the night at whosever house it was, and in the morning, all the parents would come and get us and we’d all have a huge New Year’s Day brunch at that house (it rotated among the four families). It was always fun, and as children, we never expected to be included in the adult party. I can remember when I was 19 and was invited to the club party with my boyfriend — it was like “HEY! I’M A GROWNUP!”

The little ones will, soon enough, be wanting to spend New Year’s with their own friends. I haven’t spent New Year’s with my kids for the last four years, because they’ve been out partying with their friends :-)

I’d say go out for an adult evening — but maybe allow your children to have a friend over as a special treat, and get a special game or DVD for them to enjoy. But be prepared to pay handsomely for a babysitter — my daughter always cleaned up on New Year’s!


December 29th, 2009
11:14 am

Back in the day, we always went big for NYE. Went to a couple of those hotel parties where you pay one (large) price for open bar, bands, and food. It was fun but that was for when we were younger. Now that we have our son, I would not want to spend it away from him. He is still very small (not quite 2) so I doubt we will be staying out very late. We did get invited to our friends house for a “family friendly” celebration which I am really looking forward to but I doubt we will be there past 9:30 or 10. I feel safer knowing I’m already home early instead of trying to get back home after midnight. The way I see it, like somebody else said it will be soon enough when he won’t want to hang out with us and will want to be with his friends. We already did the party thing and now we want to do the family thing!


December 29th, 2009
11:20 am

I enjoy being somewhere where all the kids can hang out. I like having families over so that the guys can hang out and the women can talk. We don’t usually mind staying in like that as much as the men…at least that seems like it to me! :o)

Personally, I don’t like to be out on the roads during this particular holiday since it REALLY involves a lot more drinking than some of the others! I would prefer to stay safe!


December 29th, 2009
11:45 am

NYE for my parents and for myself is an adult party. It is a time to spend the money for a babysitter and leave the kids behind. Everything in my life does not revolve around “the children” – couples need time together as well, without the little one’s, having adult conversations about adult things not always centered around “the children”. Get a babysitter, go out – have a good time.


December 29th, 2009
11:47 am

i prefer staying with my loved ones during new year period,because i think it is a time for you,that is 31st for to stay with your loved ones to enter into another year. sometimes is not every body that used to enter next year with there loved ones.i advice that is right for you to enter it with your loved ones.thank you .


December 29th, 2009
12:20 pm

We just had a couple of big family parties – Christmas at our house, Christmas at the Grandparents’ house, etc. So this time it’s a party for just the two of us.

It’s a chance for us to rekindle a little fun – the two of us dressed up, going out and having fun, then either a hotel or home – but special fireworks none-the-less!

The kids have their days, this one is for the adults around here.


December 29th, 2009
1:07 pm

We stay in the neighborhood and party with the neighbors, where’s its safe. My home will be “base” this year and we will shoot of fireworks at midnight. No drinking and driving.

And the stories we get to tell the next day are priceless!!!! We spend the first day of the new year laughing at what we did the night before.


December 29th, 2009
1:15 pm

We picked up a truck full of fireworks in FL yesterday and plan on shooting them off with friends and neighbors at our lake house. NYE is time for couples at our house and then I’ll cook a huge new years dinner for the family the next day. Best of both :)

Hi There

December 29th, 2009
1:29 pm

We generally have an open door and tell our friends to stop by at anytime and stay for as long as they like. Generally I like to be in bed by a decent hour and don’t feel the need to stay up until midnight as the little one will be awake regardless at her usual time.

I would rather do a date night some other night when places aren’t as packed with people parting like this is the last night they will ever be out and I don’t have to pay twice as much for a sitter. Some adults act like they just turned 21 on NYE and get silly and I would rather avoid the madness.

I’m sure when our little one gets older we might like to have a night out on NYE, but for now it’s just fun hanging out with friends at home and staying off the roads. T- if you want a night out and to dress up, go for it otherwise another idea would be to have your own family dress up night and play games and take plenty of silly pictures.

Timely topics, Ms. G...

December 29th, 2009
1:31 pm

…but the last two days worth are the exact same ones you blogged on the exact same days last year. A little creativity would be nice, but I do understand the need to recycle these topics!


December 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

In order to get a night out, I wouldn’t have any problem letting the kids know that sometimes Mommy and Daddy celebrate NYE on their own! However, I doubt you can get a sitter at this point. We’ve done it both ways, and I enjoy it both ways. Last year we had a huge party and hired two sitters to watch everyone’s kids in the basement. It was a lot of fun, but this year my MIL is staying with the kids and we’re going to a party. I look forward to the days when the kids are a bit older and more self-sufficient so I don’t have to get up so early on New Year’s Day!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 29th, 2009
1:45 pm

Dear timely topics – i have to disagree — We didn’t do sportsmanship last year at all — and we did talk about New Year’s but on a completely different day and also a different angle — yes we addressed New Year’s — it’s a topic that will probably be hit every year and will probably involve some family angle since this blog is about families — For your convenient checking — here are some more topics from last year that I don’t plan on repeating.

January 14, 2009

* Should pediatricians diagnose rudeness? Is Vicks OK under noses? Are vaccines NOT the cause of autism?

January 13, 2009

* Do you have family plans for the inauguration?

January 11, 2009

* Making children more useful

January 8, 2009

* Should 20-somethings still be on their parents’ health insurance?

January 7, 2009

* Are the parents to blame when 6-year-old son steals their car?
* Is Snow Mountain worth the money?

January 6, 2009

* How long do you wait to see your pediatrician?

January 4, 2009

* Rainy morning presents perfect time for family Wii tourney
* Calendar

December 31, 2008

* Is your New Year’s Eve party family-friendly?

December 30, 2008

* What to tell kids when a pet needs to be put to sleep?

December 28, 2008

* Best and Worst Pop Culture in a Mom’s World 2008

December 26, 2008

* Family fun ideas for the holiday break


December 29th, 2009
2:12 pm

Go Theresa!!


December 29th, 2009
2:41 pm

Haha, T — you go, girl!

Thanks, Ms. G...

December 29th, 2009
3:03 pm

…last year you may not have called it “how do you teach sportsmanship”, but you did utilize the same scenario to talk about one of your children (who shall remain nameless this year, though you did name the child last year)and their difficulties in losing gracefully during the Christmas holidays and the same game playing.

Please don’t be so defensive, I tried to temper my comment by saying that I understood the need to repeat some topics! Little PMS happenin”?

Thanks, Ms. G...

December 29th, 2009
3:04 pm

And, I believe it was covered in your January 4, 2008 topic (listed above) – my bad for not reccognizing the exact date!


December 29th, 2009
3:08 pm

When I was a child my parents got a sitter who stayed the night and they went out. There were there in the morning.

Last year I was asleep by midnight. My children were with their father’s family. They called me at midnight.

This year my parents decided not to go out and we are all going over there.

It is up to you. I don’t think there is anything wrong with going out just you and Michael. Rose is big enough to learn that Mom and Dad need “special time” without kids. On the other hand spending it with them is good if that is what you want to do.

Truthfully I do not get the big deal of the day. I recall a handful of parties of my youth that involved being drunk or close to it. I do not recall anything worthwhile at all about the celebrations sober or not.


December 29th, 2009
3:23 pm

I will be safe at home in my jammies ready for bed…. I dont like the crowds or the late nights even if it is NYE… To all that do go out be safe and have a great time.. :)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 29th, 2009
3:40 pm

I did over-react — sorry to be snippy — I don’t feel they are exact — but we can agree to disagree.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 29th, 2009
3:45 pm

I was snippy again — sorry.


December 29th, 2009
3:48 pm

ok Im sorta gonna laugh here.. but having the complete list of topics over the year is a little ocd :)


December 29th, 2009
3:50 pm

FCM, I wanted to thank you again for your encouragement on christmas eve :)


December 29th, 2009
4:55 pm

I have done the “date night” and the family night. This year it will be just me and the girl, since he is still deployed. We might go to the neighbors house and do a wii party. Or might pull out a jigsaw puzzle and follow in my mom’s tradition. But some years I like going out with just my man. Mostly I wear jeans for work since where I work can get pretty dirty and there is no reason to ruin good clothes. So getting the chance to dress up and feel pretty and see his admiring look is great for my ego. His job requires he wear a uniform and at home it is work pants and t-shirts so to see him in a suit is a treat.

ot – we had holiday drama with the ex’s wife demanding when my child would be visiting. They had forgotten I would pretty much be alone if she went.


December 29th, 2009
6:03 pm

LM, I was right there… I had to send my son off to the step monsters house


December 29th, 2009
6:07 pm

Julia that is the neat thing about this board. NONE of us can walk the exact same path, but we have had a similar one so we can help shoulder the burden by saying this worked for me. Some will say they know best and it is pretty cut and dry to them. They can think that. Most of us just find that we have been there.

Like my kids came back this weekend after a visit with their Dad. They were thrilled to be home and happy excited. Dang if he did not do the whole guilt trip thing until he had them in crocodile sized tears that went on for more than an hour. His own personal selfish insecurties had to be fed by his child’s meltdown so he could look at me and say see what you did to us — yeah I see, now get your butt back to your fiancee’s house. He does the melodrama as a subtle way to put a wall between me and the kids. Now yours may be doing his theatrics for the boy for a reason other than to hurt you…but he is doing it.

These men need to realize that they can feel bad, they can mourn, they can even do the blubbering that my ex does. They just need to do it to someone other than a small child who is developing emotionally and has zero coping skills in place. They can do it to a Minister, a friend, even the fiancee….just not the kid!


December 29th, 2009
6:23 pm

Julia, you really think that Theresa having a list of her topics is OCD? I would expect Theresa to have a list of every topic she’s blogged about. I don’t think that’s OCD. I think its smart.


December 29th, 2009
9:13 pm

Julia I went for 16 yrs back and forth with my ex thinking my son would hate me for being to weak to stand up to his father. My dad always said he would end up on my door step at 18. Guess what he did 5 years later he is still with me much to his father chagrin. My point is don’t beat your self up or let other people bring you down. Kids are smart and they always love you, no mater what they are told. It will work out in the end. Promise


December 29th, 2009
9:38 pm

Elaina.. I am a firm believer of the truth will be known and I really do very little bashing of the father but yea sorry but the step monster is a different story… She has called him a pathological lier to his face and wanted to whip him when his own father would not step in…………….. I just finished with an ex boyfriend who tried his hardest to get the boy to hate me (he hates his mother and his ex wife).

I was joking Momsrule…


December 29th, 2009
10:29 pm

Julia…I get my son back after being at dad’s for 10 days and it will take at least that long to deprogram him. Welcome back to the real world where we have chores and expect you to act like a human. I am your MOM not your friend.


December 30th, 2009
4:51 am

New year party- Is it an option or a decision? – New year being a one day a year celeberation family can take a leave and get together can take precedence.Celeberate as family going out with other families.


December 30th, 2009
8:06 am

ZachsMom thank you! I thought I was the only one who thought of it as deprogramming.

Elliot Garcia

December 30th, 2009
8:35 am

I think sometimes you need to take the time as a couple and go have some fun!


December 30th, 2009
8:54 am

Julia: This step monster has two adult children and 3 grandkids. So she has little interest in being a mom to a 17 y/o girl. She does not encourage visitation between father and child and has openly shown preference towards her own children and grand kids. DOn’t get me wrong, I understand she can’t help but love her own but to openly ignor and state she perfers to spend time with her own to both the father and child is wrong. The father has two children, both have little feelings of love and affection for him, mostly due to his lack of a back bone and standing up for them. Before this wife, it was his mother who ruled, I can’t describe the arguments we had over his not standing up for US, now he won’t stand up for his child… I never bashed and tried to always speak highly of him to our child, even though it was very hard to see what he was doing and not say something. Now she sees what kind of person he is and is making her own decissions about what kind of relationship she will have with him.


December 30th, 2009
9:36 am

We have done it both ways. For the last 2 years we have gone out just as a couple and then hung out with the kids on New Year’s Day. This year, we are having a huge family New Year’s Eve ball / surprise bday parties (my man and his 2 brother’s all just had bdays at the end of December). My sis-in-law has arranged an area for the kids in 3 rooms upstairs so they can play and yet the adults can have adult time also. I don’t know though.. we will see how it goes.

I have really always looked at New Years Eve as adult time, and I like it that way. But who knows… maybe I will actually enjoy this ball! lol

Jesse's Girl

December 30th, 2009
10:49 am

I have been asked to refrain from folly this year. Mr. Jesse is building an addition to the abode and he would very much like it if I stayed home to assist him. I’m quite positive this has nothing at all to do with the fact that the BFF and I nearly burned her home down last NYE;)


December 30th, 2009
11:16 am

WOW – lot of man-hating going on in this blog today.

If you’re this hateful to your ex when you’re around your children talking about him, then YOU’RE the ones screwing up your kids.

LET IT GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


December 30th, 2009
11:17 am


Hadn’t seen Jesse’s Girl on here in quite a while. It was so nice.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 30th, 2009
11:43 am

I’ve posted a new topic — Bad idea or good idea: Should you set up your kid’s teacher?


December 30th, 2009
12:35 pm

Jane I am polite to my ex. I do well with him on the phone. I vent where the kids aren’t. I would never try to influence their relationship with their dad for good or for bad. I figure he is doing a fine job showing them who he really is on his own.


December 30th, 2009
12:39 pm

BTW Jane if you look at the original post Julia was commenting to me on this is how I ended it “YOU don’t say anything about Dad. YOU don’t try to fix that relationship. YOU will be the one who is hurt if you try.” Doesn’t sound much like someone who thinks trashing the ex is a good idea now does it? My kids may well be screwed up but it is not because I talk about their Dad when they are around.


December 30th, 2009
12:48 pm

NYE is grown up night for us. The kids go to their grandmother’s as is their tradition.They hang out with their cousins and munch on goodies all night long, and stay up as late as they can hang. Of course, we only get about 4-5 adult evenings out a year, so we cherish this one. New Year’s Day, we all go out as a family to brunch, as is our tradition. Everyone wins! This year we are taking in a comedy show with friends, and will be home by 11 before all the drunks get out on the road.


December 30th, 2009
3:52 pm

Thank you again FCM, Jane – bite me

Jesse's Girl

December 30th, 2009
8:42 pm

Perhaps I’m losing my BS-radar…but I can’t tell if Jane’s “aaawww” was sarcastic or not.


December 31st, 2009
8:27 am

I would say it would really depend on the age of the children. When they are very young, they should be in bed well before midnight, but at the same time, you shouldn’t attend any major parties, unless you have hired a babysitter.

When they are older, you can allow them to stay up to midnight or later, to watch the countdown. You can either have your own private party at home, or take them with you to a friend’s party, if (A) they’ll allow it, and (B) if they will provide activities the kids will be able to do. Perhaps to help the kids feel like they’re celebrating like the adults, provide them with flutes filled with Sprite, 7-Up, or ginger ale, which looks and fizzes like champagne, but without the alcohol. Also, all three of these have very little to no caffeine, so you won’t have to worry about them being wired all night long.

I just thought of an activity you can help them do for New Year’s. This sort of ties in with an old superstition that if you bind last year’s calendars with twine, and throw it into a roaring fire, all the banes and troubles from last year won’t carry over or repeat themselves in the new year. Have the kids write down something bad that happened to them last year. It could be getting into a fight with someone at school, getting bad grades, being grounded for a week due to this or that, or anything bad that happened to them. Have them write down that event on a piece of paper, fold it up, and hand it to you. You can then either toss it into a roaring fire (if you have a fireplace, or can do it on a charcoal grill), or shove it into a paper shredder. Remove the ashes or shreddings and discard them out of the house. Tell the kid that the event is no more, that it has been destroyed, so it should not happen again in the new year.


December 31st, 2009
9:25 am

FCM – I wasn’t necessarily talking to you. Read all of the blogs. Funny how you instantly thought it was you though. Must be a bit of guilt going on there.

And Julia, calling someone a “step monster”, even if not to their face, reinforces your nasty attitude about them and YES, that does come across to the kids. Do you really think your kids are to stupid to figure out what’s going on? Give them more credit than that.

Do you folks really think you can think all these nasty thought about your ex and your children don’t figure it out and aren’t hurt? WRONG.

As I said before – LET IT GO!!! You and your kids will be better off.


January 1st, 2010
12:51 pm

Well said Jane! It’s hard but it is best to let it go for the sake of the kids. And while some of them give them all a bad name, they aren’t all “stepmonters”. My son’s stepmother is a wonderful person. I actually like her a lot better than my ex-husband.


January 2nd, 2010
2:16 pm

I don’t think your social life should be decided by your child. EVER.

However, I like things like “First Night Athens” that they used to have–family activities that were lots of fun. You paid a per person rate, could go from venue to venue, and map whatever activities were of interest to the children and adults.

Teresa, whatever THE ADULTS decide should be what you do. Perhaps this year it is time to get out on your own, and plan next year to host a party for several families.