The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon.
Caesar in 40BC instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings.
In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.
Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.
Baby's First New Year
It’s your baby’s first time welcoming the new year. It’s probably fair that your New Year’s Eve plans are going to look pretty different from last year, as the morning after is probably going to start a bit earlier this time around.
But just because you have a baby this year, doesn’t mean you have to sit on and feeling sorry for yourself come midnight. Sure, the party scene might have changed a bit, there’s still plenty of ways to festively ring in the New Year with your baby.
Have a parents party
Invite other parents and kids over for a casual potluck/early cocktail party/New Year’s gathering. Provide paper for the adults to write two lists: one list of what they’d like to accomplish in the coming year and one of what they’d like to let go. You can then tear the papers up or burn them in a fireplace. Any kids who are old enough can participate too. This is a fun way to mark the holiday with meaning — without having to stay up late.
Watch the ball drop (indoors)
Unless you can spend a fortune on a babysitter — or have a family member in town who’s willing to watch the baby for free — you’re better off staying in to watch Ryan Seacrest ring in the new year in Times Square. (But did you really want to go to Times Square anyway? Ugh, crowds.) But you can make your TV NYE more interesting by planning a fun menu to cook with your partner or friends — just make sure to practice safe babywearing around the kitchen — and have some board games to play while you cozy up and watch all those Times Square folks freeze their butts off.
Another option for staying in is dressing up! Why not dress your tot up to the nines in a beautiful little dress or a sparkly suit and bow-tie, whilst you and your partner do the same! It will make you feel extra special to be dolled up, even if you are sat on your tod at home! Dressing up sets the mood for a special night, no matter what’s on the agenda.
Even the littlest of babies will be utterly dazzled by colorful, shiny confetti being tossed in the air. It will help toddlers understand that it’s a special evening, like a birthday. Bubbles are a great idea too. Don’t worry about the mess until next year…