If you are fortunate enough to have other members of your family around, plan a potluck dinner to bring in the New Year. Begin by setting your plan in motion.
Planning the Gathering - Find a time when everyone can meet to hash out the details. You can come up with a menu together and then divide it into parts so that each household knows what they are bringing. Begin with what you may already have in your home. If anyone has paper goods, sodas or the makings of a dish, that will save money.
Set the time. Keep in mind that family members may have other activities planned for the evening. Usually earlier is better. Decide which family will host the dinner. You can rotate each year so that no one is missed.
Pre-Dinner Fun - Bring everyone together an hour or two ahead of time to spend quality time together. One activity that gets everyone up and on their feet is interactive video games. Anyone have a Wii in the house? Playing a game like Guitar Hero or Super Smash Bros. Brawl will fuel the appetite.
Don’t forget the card games. Families can have a great time playing Poker, Bid Whisk, and Spades. For the kids, there’s Old Maid, Go Fish and Uno to name a few. Make it interesting by playing for change or candy.
The Meal - What are you serving that smells so good? Set up a table where everyone can serve themselves buffet-style. To avoid a messy rug or floor, place drinks in the kitchen on the counter along with cups and a bowl of ice. Using paper products makes clean up easy for the hosting family.
If you live in the south, no New Year’s meal would be complete without the traditional foods that may bring good fortune in the year to come. These include black-eyed peas (wealth), pork (prosperity) and cornbread (gold).
Dessert will put the finishing touches on your potluck meal. Each family can bring their own offering for the after-dinner treat to add variety. Anyone want ice cream and cake?
After Dinner - Before everyone gets away, try this activity. Go around the room and let each person tell one thing that they would like to accomplish in the New Year. Now, your family can help encourage you to meet that goal over the next twelve months.
Want to get the family together in one place? Plan a New Year’s Eve potluck dinner. Have some food, some laughs and make new memories.