Not only is the new year a perfect time to set 2020 budget resolutions, it’s also a good time to begin new, happy traditions. Consider these fun-yet-frugal ways to spice up your celebrations with family and friends:
- Take an annual new year family photo: Hang a black sheet or tablecloth as a backdrop, add a Happy New Year 2020 banner, make sure the lighting’s good, and ta-da! You’re ready to snap some commemorative
photos with family and friends. Provide a few silly props (hats, glasses, horns), pick a theme (maybe silver and gold?) or encourage guests to come dressed in their new year’s best. Use the start of 2020 to create a new tradition, along
with an album for storing your annual photos!
- Make and share a wish: Be a part of Times Square’s global Wishing Wall by sharing your wish on Twitter and Instagram using
#ConfettiWish (by Dec. 28). At midnight on New Year’s Eve, your wish will join thousands of others as the confetti raining down on Times Square revelers! Make your own Wishing Wall at home, too! Just designate a
wall, provide some colorful markers and sticky notes, and watch as guests create a colorful rainbow from their hopes and dreams. At midnight, read the wishes aloud!
- Play new year’s bingo: Use these festive, downloadable cards to engage family and friends of all ages
in new year’s bingo! For extra laughs, have the winners choose their prizes from an assortment of wrapped white-elephant gifts you have your guests bring.
- Go global: Are you resolving to travel more next year? Set your intentions by incorporating new year’s traditions from around the world into your celebration. (See Columbia’s tradition of carrying empty suitcases around on New Year’s Day to prompt a travel-filled year.) Take the fun even further by celebrating 2020 when it tolls in a country you hope to visit OR choose a locale where midnight is more compatible with your kids’ bedtime.
- Customize your movie night: Create an all-ages movie night with an early Netflix’ New Year’s Eve Countdown for kids, followed by some New Year’s Eve-themed watching for adults.
- Plan a balloon pop and drop (kids love these): Help your party march toward midnight by marking balloons with countdown “pop times” (8pm, 9pm, 10pm). And to mark the big event, hang a balloon-filled blanket or sheet
from the ceiling to release over guests.
- Fix a fortuitous feast: Incorporate traditional good-luck foods from other cultures into your festivities (grapes, cakes, pork, and greens, to name a few). Use this list to help create some gastronomic good fortune or as a potluck party theme for guests. (Take-out orders allowed!)
- Clock the countdown: Tick-tock your way toward midnight using a houseful of clocks as décor. Collect clocks of all shapes and sizes from thrift stores and yard-sales, and have guests bring alarm clocks to set as a new year’s
- Summon some reflection: Get everyone looking back on their “bests” and “mosts” of 2019 using this free game.
Print the 14 questions on card stock (best movie, best song, best piece of advice, most embarrassing moment), toss them into a bowl, and pass around for your guests to answer.
- Hand out some extra dough: Make the new year bright by giving others some extra dough—cookie dough! Let the kids help you prepare and pass out ‘dough’ as a perfect party favor or make some special deliveries
on New Year’s Day.
Taking time to create a memorable holiday sets a tone of togetherness and joy for the new year to come. If these 10 ideas don’t do the trick, have a family meeting and come up with your own affordable and fun festivities!