Thanksgiving is long over, but there’s nothing like ending the year with a thankful heart.

As the proverb goes: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

So, before the new year is upon us, take an evening to count your blessings, both as an individual and as a family.

Here are some ideas on what you can do to usher in the new year.

new year party ideas

#1 Choose your colour

All you need for this is a big bowl of colourful treats. M&Ms are an obvious easy choice, but you can always go healthy and have a variety of juicy fruits instead (red apples, green pears, yellow bananas etc). Questions for sharing are written down beforehand, but not announced, so no one can pick and choose discriminately.

Each person picks a couple of items, and then the questions are revealed. Then it’s time for every one to have a turn at sharing his or her thoughts based on the colours he or she picked. Eg. red = What is one highlight of the year for you?

Some other questions to get your creative juices flowing…

  • Who is one person you got to know a lot better the past year?
  • What is one book that really inspired you?
  • What was the most encouraging thing someone did for you?
  • Who/what encouraged you during a particularly stressful time this year?

#2 Picture perfect

child drawing on family

Give each person a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. Then ask them to draw anything that comes to mind when they think back on the year that’s past – whatever stands out for them; the good and the bad; people, events, experiences.

They can draw as small or big, as orderly or as randomly as they like. You can provide colour pencils or markers for the artistic ones to jazz up their drawings. Then get each person to share about a couple of items from their page.

#3 Time capsule

Let your family know about a week in advance that you will be creating a family time capsule together. Each person is supposed to think about and prepare 2-3 items for this ‘capsule’. These can be anything (1) non-perishable (2) unique to their life in the year and (3) relatively small.

Get a groovy box to hold your treasures. Or buy a plain one from Daiso or Ikea and decorate it. This can be a family activity all on its own too!

On the appointed hour, get everyone to bring their treasures together and share about why it holds particular meaning for them. Set a date for revisiting the box again in the future, eg. in five years time. Place all the items in the box and stow it away somewhere safe, like in your storeroom.

Years down the road, you can open these boxes and reminisce together on the ‘good old days’ and how much or how little things have changed.

By Dorothea Chow