Fresh New Year, fresh new gear, fresh new powder.

Sometimes New Year’s celebrations can seem to be centered on adult activities however, there are a lot of great ideas for the entire family to enjoy this holiday.  A lot of the little ones just collected a lot of new outdoor gear for the holidays, and they are ready to show it off, and test it outside.  Tonight is a great night to get bundled up, step outside in the snow, and celebrate the arrival of a New Year.  For us here in Colorado, the New Year is starting with a lot of fresh powder in the mountains, and we could not be more excited.  We have some great ideas for ways to count down to 2013:

Check out the local fireworks shows.  All over the country, fireworks are going to be set off tonight to light the sky in celebration of the New Year.  Nothing says “celebration” quite like a ton of fireworks being set off.  Taking the entire family to your town or city center, watching all of the magnificent colors explode, hearing the loud noises, and being surrounded by others in your community, makes for a great way to begin the year.  With a lot of US cities covered with snow, it is a great place to be trying out all of our new winter gear.  Bring a camera, bring some hot chocolate, certainly wear your favorite hat and scarf, and join the masses screaming “Happy New Year” at the stroke of midnight.

Making our lists, checking them twice.   You may think, a little late for that, didn’t we just finish with our holiday wish lists? Well yes, most of just finished checking off all items on our lists, making sure we are prepared for all of the coming winter adventures.  However, for a good way to spend some quality family time, gather together and make a list of the things that everyone would like to accomplish in the coming year.  It does not have to be a list of resolutions, more just ideas (even if they are a little grand!) for what would help to make this coming year the best one yet.  Ideas: places you want to visit, different foods that you would like to try and make, art projects you want to work on, and new hobbies and activities that you want to try out.  Once you create your list, post it somewhere visible to everyone at home so there are things that everyone can look forward to.  Eventually, when you make actual plans to do the things on your family list, put a date next to the activity so that everyone has time to build up their anticipation.

Remembering the memories.  Another thing that really can bring everyone together, is sharing some of their favorite moments from 2012.  Sit down together, preferably with some hot chocolate, and share what made your yearbook of memories.  The best part is some of your family and friends stories will likely remind you of moments that you had forgotten about.  If you have pictures, from trips and adventures, share them too.  Take out the camera for this one too and take a picture of everyone on the eve of a new year.  Start a tradition of keeping these pictures and jotted memories for all years to come.

Sparkling cider toast.  As adults we are partial to champagne but, I think we forget how truly delicious sparkling cider is.  The midnight cheers is so much a part of the ringing in of the New Year, so select a beverage that everyone in the family can enjoy.  It will certainly make the children feel special that they get to be included in a part of the holiday that is usually strictly adult.  Although we would all probably love to go to New York City to watch the ball drop, not everyone can make that journey.  I remember as a kid, my favorite part was just staying up (way past my bedtime!) to watch on television the magnificent celebration in Times Square.  Not the same, but when you ad your midnight toast, and a blanket, while snuggled up as a family, nothing gets much better.

Give thanks, and give back.  As we reflect on all of our wonderful memories from the past year, think about making some new memories for others by giving back. Since a lot of us received new stuff this holiday season, a lot of us likely have an excess amount of stuff (specifically, winter gear).  Set a day to go through your closets and figure out what things have been replaced, and no longer need to take up room in the closet.  Give someone else a great start to their New Year by donating items to your local charity.  You’ll start the year with a nice clean closet, and someone else will start their New Year warm and toasty because of your generosity.  Keep spreading your holiday cheer all the way through the New Year.

We would love to know what everyone is doing to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.  We are also dying to know how everyone’s new gear is holding up with all of the snow falling. Here is our toast to fresh powder, fresh new gear, and a fresh New Year.

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