Well, we made it through an utterly brilliant 2014, and tonight we’ll welcome in 2015.
We have high expectations for the coming year – 2014 was so good, 2015 has a lot to live up to.
New Years celebrations change over time, don’t they?
We had family parties as I grew up. In my teens we had some slightly wilder parties and pubs and clubs to go to.
After we were married there was the spell that we both worked in a nightclub, and every New Year saw us working, but hvaing a lot of fun.
Then children came along…
Possibly my best New Years Eve ever was the turn of the new century. Our firstborn was approaching his first birthday, and we left him with his grandparents to see the new millenium in on Tower Bridge with thousands of strangers and monumental fireworks. It was an astonishing night.
Then there was the Dinner Party era – a group of fellow parents would come over with the children – the children would all vanish upstairs for their own sleepover, and the grown ups would be glamoured up in posh frocks and have a fabulous night of our own.
But time has moved on again, and for the last few years we’ve welcomed the new year in a quiet fashion, just us and the children. A small at-home party; we usually kick off by spending the afternoon of New Years Eve walking the dog in whatever the last fo the December weather is throwing at us. Then we head home for a family film session by the fire, complete with hot chocolate, rugs and the accidentally-kept-back-just-for-such-an-occasion last tin of Quality Street. Then it’s party food laid out, silly games, maybe some loud music and foolish dancing, and always Jools Holland and his Hootenanny to see us singing and dancing through midnight into the small hours.
It’s a nice way to welcome a new year in, surrounded by the people you love most, spending lots of time talking about the best and worst bits of the last year and anticipating what is to come as the seasons turn again.
So if you find yourselves at home this New Years Eve – don’t be glum. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a party!
If you’ve still time, head out to the supermarket and pick up some of their frozen party food – everyone’s got deals on at the mo. If you’ve not time, I suspect with Christmas still in your cupboards you can get together a magnificent party feast for yourselves. Lay some crisps out in bowls, cook up that last bag of sausage rolls, dig out the chessboard and heat the last of the Christmas cocktail sausages in the oven with a drizzle of honey over them (scatter on some sesame seeds if you have any in the cupboard). Cold meats, the last of the pickles… even make up some egg sandwiches and cut them into shapes. It’s all good, anything goes. Who’re you trying to impress, after all?
Of course, you can also simply ring your local takeaway and have them deliver a piping hot feast to your door too.
Do make sure you get out during the day though. Go for a walk in the woods or to the park. Blow away those lazy seasonal cobwebs and breathe in your last lungfuls of the year’s weather. Then back home to cosy up as the skies darken.
Here’s our pick of the family’s favourite New Years Eve films:
Arthur & The Invisibles.
We LOVE this film – and ever since we went to Futuroscope, this is firmly entrenched in our annual family viewing. Fun, entrancing, beautiful to watch, cleverly written, and the bad guys are bad enough to hate, and that perfect level of evil which makes small children shiver with enjoyment as they get frightened by them. And the ending is as perfect an ending as you need. Triumphant.
Larger than Life
So many people missed this film, especially as it got pretty universally poor reviews. But it’s a firm family favourite in the LittleStuff house – Bill Murray and Vera the elephant. Unusually for a Bill Murray film, there’s no inappropriate language, and it’s perfect family viewing. It’s occasionally subtle and clever, often moving and frequently very very funny. It does take a little while to get going, so stick with it – once Bill & vera are on the road you will NOT be able to stop watching. I promise.
I loved the original, but actually the re-make wins for me. Jamie Lee Curtis has been updated to have a career (in the book and the original she’s a housewife, obviously), and she and Lindsay Lohan just work brilliantly together. Both of them feel believable in their alternate role, and genuinely seem to be having a great time.
And if course the children all adore watching the traditional mother/daughter body-swap storyline. It’s touching. And funny.
Okay, I couldn’t choose just one. We love them all – the whole Pixar library. And you can guarantee that one of them will magically appear on the screen at some point, they’re so universally perfect for the whole family (*whispers* my favourite is quite probably Cars, though…).
So Happy New Year, all. Have a fabulous night – and I hope 2015 turns out magnificently for you.