Friday, January 2, 2015

New Years Eve 2014

For the first time ever I decided to make countdown to midnight bags. I found some easy printables from here which I came across in Pinterest (of course!).  As we had my mother-in-law, and her 80 year young brother and baby sister coming at 6pm for dinner I made the bags to start from 7pm.  I filled the bags with the activities and placed them all in a big cane basket on the coffee table. In the basket were also some things I couldn't fit in the paper bags, like a hot glue gun.

7:00 PM - Review 2014 and Set Goals and Resolutions

At 7pm we each filled in a 'New Years 2014 in Review and 2015 Resolution page' which I got from Thirty Handmade Days. The forms were perfect, great questions and not too long. When we had all completed our forms we handed them to the person on the right of us to read out.

The Fashionista's 'Greatest lesson learned' was to "not take everything so seriously" and her 'Want to get better at' was "relaxing" (something we can all learn from I think) and her 'Goals for 2015' are to "have a great first year of High School".

Agent Smelly typically made us laugh with her comments. Favourite food ... "bacon and sushi" ... but apparently if we could make a "bacon sushi" she advised us, then she would be in heaven!  Her greatest lesson learned was "Don't bug (The Fashionista) or she won't let me go on her computer" and hardest thing this year "cleaning my room" sort of summed it up for her. I was excited to see that one of the things she 'wants to learn' in 2015 is to cook properly. Guess what we'll be doing more of next year.

The girls favourite books were unsurprising but Uncle B's "turf guide" made us laugh - no guessing what his hobby is. The classic 'want to learn' for 2015 though was "sky diving". Now that sky diving might not be so odd to want to try, but considering the person who wrote it was my 86 year old ma-in-law, we were vastly amused. She confessed later that she doesn't really want to sky dive but she didn't really have anything new she wants to learn, although she does still have things she wants to get better at and goals for 2015.


At 8pm, the activity in the bag was to take photos with some photo booth accessories which I obtained from Kristen Duke Photography's blog earlier in the day. They were an easy, free download which was pretty awesome of them as most I could find you had to pay for. Thank goodness for chop sticks.

(Sadly the only group one of us four came out blurry).

Just before 9pm our guests left (Uncle B lives in a retirement home and they are usually in bed by 8.30pm so for him it was a big night out).  We already knew this would happen so I made the rest of the begs for things just the girls could do. My 9pm bag had international New Years Eve Traditions in it. We all read one or two of them out and I included some activities that they could do also, if they wished to. We also had the option to come up with a new family tradition to do at midnight.

So like the Italians we gals or ran off to pop on red underwear because apparently ...

Every Italian on the 31st of December will be making sure they have some red underwear to wear to welcome the new year in and hence shower themselves in luck!

A tradition apparently dating back to medieval times when men would use a red drape over their groin area to protect themselves from the witches who at the turn of midnight would be out on the village streets looking to cast spells and make mischief.

The colour red is good luck and brings good fortune. It keeps negative energy away and calls on the protective presence of archangel Michael. 

Quick ... put your red knickers on before midnight!

For Germany we made four leaf clover badges ...

In Germany (and Austria) people take part in a form of fortune telling known as Bleigiessen. They melt small quantities of lead on a silver spoon above a candle. The molten lead is then tipped into a bowl of cold water where it solidifies. Then people try to tell the future from the shape it made. A heart or ring shape meant a wedding, a ship a journey, and a pig plenty of food in the year ahead.

People also would leave a bit of every food eaten on New Year's Eve on their plate until after Midnight as a way of ensuring a well-stocked larder. Carp was included as it was thought to bring wealth.

Many Germans give small gifts like Marzipan Pigs, four leaf clovers, horse shoes, toadstools because they are signs of good luck! 
Make a four leaf clover badge to give away as a gift.

10:00 pm - MOVIE TIME

The bag included a DVD to watch, so we all settled onto the couch to watch a movie. We actually started watching this a bit before 10pm as I noticed earlier when putting the DVD into the bag that it went for just over 2 hours and we wanted to be finished by midnight.

11:00 pm - SNACK TIME
This bag had a bag of funny face lollies and some popcorn to make and eat during intermission


We woke the Papa just before midnight (he always falls asleep watching movies!). We popped the party poppers that were in the bag. Can you believe I have never popped a party popped before; I think they used to frighten me when I was younger. Then we completed out new family tradition. We each took a small piece of paper from the bag and wrote a wish that we had for 2015, set it on fire and popped into a little goblet to burn. We had to do it within a minute in order to make our wish come true.

As I mentioned in the beginning this is the first time we have had countdown bags and they were a resounding success. Even our visitors commented on how much they had enjoyed them. So next New Years Eve I will try and be more organised (I decided to do this all on NYE so had to make do with what I could find online) and make my own bag designs and forms.

Do you have any traditions that you follow for New Years Eve?

Wishing you all a very Happy 2015 ... I hope your year brings you much good health and happiness.


  1. Fun! I'm going to bookmark this to look at next year. I decided on a last minute round-the-world New Year countdown, too. We didn't start til Australia because we had stuff on in the morning but I laughed out loud when I got a text in the middle of my guitar lesson from my 11 year old wishing me "Happy New Year in New Zealand!"
    Love the red underwear tradition - we'll have to try that next year. Mind you, looking at what we supposedly do in England made me laugh. And my sister in Wales hooted when I told her to get my nephew ready to go round the houses at 3am sprinkling everyone with an evergreen twig!

    1. NZ and Australia's traditions are to drink too much and make an ass of yourself I think ... lol Pre-kids I surprised the Papa with a trip to Sydney to watch the fireworks at the Opera House/Harbour bridge (we had been in Melbourne with my folks for Christmas) and it was awesome. Might take the kids one day.
      That is so cute about the text ... someone is good at geography, they must have a good teacher!


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