NYE Every-Hour-on-the-Hour Celebration How-To, by Cara Day


For about the past ten years we have celebrated our “every-hour-on-the-hour” New

Year’s Eve celebration which begins at noon and ends at 9 p.m. when the ball drops in

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Every hour, we do an activity. It might be a game, scrapbook page, scavenger hunt,

making a meal or dessert, scratching lottery tickets, learning a new skill, completing

miniute-to-win-it challenges, or some other family fun activity. Sometimes the children

find a map and we go somewhere, such as to see a play, or to play mini-golf.



Each activity is written on a paper, rolled up like a scroll, and tied with a bow, and put in

a basket together. The outside of the scroll has the “hour” written on it, since it’s

important to space out food and active activities with more sedentary ones. If an activity

will take two hours, just write the two-hour time slot on the paper.


For one of the activities, each year we have pondered and shared our Top Ten of the

previous year on New Year’s Eve. The Top Ten is always a favorite activity because it

gives each person a chance to reflect, as well as a chance to share with everyone. We

learn many things about each other every year.


To complete, simply pass out the papers and writing utensils, and give everyone about

10 minutes or so to complete their page. Olders can write for youngers if this makes it

less cumbersome for them.


Here is a brief explanation of each of the items:

Top Ten: List the top ten things that happened this year. There is not right or wrong on this.

It can be an experience, an item, an emotion–whatever comes to you as a top ten.

Top Do-over: Write something you would do-over if you could. It could be a silly thing, like,

“I’d eat my oreos without pulling them apart first.” or something deeper, like,

“I would have pressed my pause button before having the conversation with so-and-so.”


Friend I made: List a the name of a new friend, human or animal.

Something I released: Write about something, whether a person, habit, or

item, that you let go of during the year.

Top three goals for the next year: Write three goals for the next year. Goals

can be social, professional, academic, fiscal, physical, emotional, spiritual–no


Something I’d like to learn: This could be a new skill such as playing the

piano, or a behavior, such as smiling more.

Place I’d like to go: Write a place you’d like to go, whether a new destination or an old


My motto for the next year: It’s fun to create and share a motto. It may be

your same motto, or perhaps it’s time for a new one. A motto is a short phrase that gets you moving

or refocused on days when life is challening, such as “Play full out.” or “Be love.” or ???