New Year’s Eve Plans and Printables for the Best at Home Family New Year’s Eve

You’ll find blank printables to easily print and/or download at the end of this post. (They’ll be easiest to view and use from a computer)

I want to share my favorite way to end the new year. It takes a little time, but it’s so worth it!

Family New Year’s Eve Party Award Certificate Sample-Details Below!

First off, I believe we have to look back before we can look forward. There’s something so cathartic about spending a few minutes in reflection about the year you are leaving behind.

The way we did this was a few days before new years we sat down together as a family and took turns asking these questions, and letting each family member have a chance to share. You could ask these in a group setting like we did, or ask in a more intimate 1 on 1 setting! If your kids are old enough, you could even encourage them to write their answers and then share them. 

What are you most proud of personally this year?

What were the highlights for you this year?

What was your biggest struggle or challenge this year?

What did you not like about this year?

What are you most grateful for this year?

What is the biggest lesson you learned?

What are you most excited about for next year?

What’s important to you in 2021?

What is something you think our family could focus on next year?

For our younger kids the questions might be more like, “What was the best part of your year?” “What was the worst part of your year?” “What’s something that you want to do next year?” etc.

There is a blank sheet with these questions at the end of the post if you want to print it and write out your answers!

Later Chris and I take all of this feedback and have a conversation (just the 2 of us) about what we think our family could focus or work on this year to help our family unit run more smoothly. The last few years we actually narrow it all down to 1-3 words to focus on that can guide us through the entire year. For example in 2021 our word was “Diligent” so that we could focus in finishing things that we started and sticking to commitments. Our 2020 word was “Team” because we felt like our family needed to focus on working together, playing together, and encouraging each other.   In  2019 our word was “Kind-hearted” because we wanted to see more kindness. In 2018 one of our words was “Constant” because we felt like we wanted to be more consistent in our habits, etc. We also encourage each of our kids to choose a personal word for themselves every year!

“What the New Year Brings to You Will Depend a Great Deal on What you Bring to the New Year”

Vern Mclellan

The other thing Chris and I do in this conversation is  review the activities/challenges/triumphs from last year that each family was a part of. From there we assign each family member a unique award. For example, a child that didn’t make a sports team in the spring, but tried out again in the fall might be awarded “most determined.” Or a child that started at a new school and made new friends might be awarded “most friendly” or “most brave.” I like to focus on things that are reflective of their character or the type of person that they are, rather than something that they have accomplished or a physical characteristic.

 Next you would fill out the awards certificate with each recipient’s specific info. You can refer to the sample at the top of the post, and I made a blank one here for you! 

New Year’s 2019 with the Smith’s

The last thing left to do is to have the awards ceremony! We did it on New Year’s Eve last year as part of our New Year’s Eve celebration. 

Here’s what our new year’s celebration looked like last year:

Nice Dinner

Awards Ceremony

Vision Boards

Snacks/Games/Fireworks, etc

I’ll break them each down for you here:

Dinner: I let the kids weight in on what they wanted for dinner. We chose to have a nice dinner with candles, etc. You could just as easily order take-out or pizza. We sat down together and enjoyed dinner as a family. We had some friends that spent the whole night with us as well and participated in the whole evening! They made their own family awards & vision boards but we did the awards ceremony and everything together. Each family just took turns presenting to a family member! 

Even the teenagers love the attention and acknowledgement of the awards ceremony!

The Ceremony: This can be as grand or as simple as you like. Maybe you dress up fancy and it’s an actual awards ceremony. Or maybe you just all sit on the couch in your p.j.s. The important thing is that you sit down together, and one by one bring each family member to the front of the room and present them with their certificate. Take a minute and explain exactly what you see in this person and why they are receiving this award this year. Watch them light up! This is a tremendous opportunity to powerfully acknowledge each member of your family and have them feel truly seen. Proceed with the remaining family members. Close the ceremony by congratulating the family on a fantastic (even if challenging) year. 

Chris & Melissa’s Vision Boards for 2020. Melissa on L, Chris on R, Combined board in the middle!

The Vision Boards: From there we all create vision boards. If you’ve never done a vision board before it is basically a visual reminder or representation of who you want to be, or what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Some of the family likes to create their board by printing out exactly what pictures they want via a google search. Others like to flip through magazines and cut and paste onto a board with more of an intuitive approach. I always like to see what the preschoolers put on their boards. It’s always entertaining yet reflective of what gets them excited and what they’re passionate about! There really is no right way to do it. You may find it helpful to refer back to the reflection questions  “What is important to you in 2021?” or “What are you most excited for next year?” Those answers could give you some guidance about a good starting place for your vision board! Here’s some examples of our boards from last year! Notice each person also included their personal word for the year on their board. 

Ivie’s Vision Board for 2020

When most people are wrapping up with their boards we give them the opportunity to share them with each other at the front of the room. I like to work on mine for longer than the kids do, so if someone’s not done they just share what they have so far! The boards will then go on display in each person’s room, or somewhere where they can see it often.

Tate’s Vision Board for 2020

The rest of the evening is spent playing games, eating food, fireworks, whatever! And that’s basically it!

I love waking up on  New Year’s Day feeling like I already have a focus and intention for my new year! Do it!!!

We also did an entire podcast episode on this subject if you’re wanting more details! Check it out here on Spotify:

Much love and prosperity to you and your family in the new year! We hope you have a beautiful evening together

Happy New Year!


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