When our children were little we started a new tradition to celebrate the New Year. We read about creation and newness in the Bible and then we celebrated new starts. This included giving children (or the family) new books and games, new hugs, and trying a new food. It turned out better than we expected and many of our grandchildren now enjoy the tradition.
Our children had previously overlooked the educational gifts and books on Christmas Day. Holding off until the New Year made a difference. They looked forward to the books and games and wanted to grow their minds. We spent the day enjoying the new games and reading the opening of each book. It also lessened overwhelming them on Christmas Day. It also gave us extra time to buy books and games.
We added another special tradition. I bought a small empty book. Each year we wrote in our memories, prayer requests, and prayer answers. We filled a page with the funniest, hardest, best, and worst of the past year. That brought up lots of discussion and many giggles as we tried to narrow down the funniest moments.
We looked back at the previous year and checked off all the past prayers that had been answered. Then we wrote in prayer requests for the coming year. It amazed my children to see so many prayers get answered over the years. It also led to chatting about how we could get a fresh start in the New Year and setting a few attainable goals or steps to a far-reaching goal. The additional bonding of focusing on God on New Year’s Day was a great bonus.
We found these simple traditions inspired a great start and had our children heading off to school a day or so later with great optimism.
What are your traditions for New Year’s Day? What would you like to add this year?
Happy New Year!