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Creative ways to celebrate New Year's Eve

Pear Sparkler</br>Photography by John Cullen Author: Canadian Living Credits: Pear Sparkler</br>Photography by John Cullen

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Creative ways to celebrate New Year's Eve

For many people, typical New Year's Eve celebrations include watching the ball drop on TV, going to an overpriced event, or counting down to midnight.

Although this can be fun, it can also get tiresome year after year. If you're looking for some new ways to ring in the New Year, check out the following suggestions.

Throw a scrapbooking party
New Year's Eve is a great night for reflecting on the past year. What better way to do this than scrapbooking? This popular hobby is a fun means of documenting holidays, events and rites of passage.

Start by purchasing some basic supplies from a craft or photo store in advance. On New Year's Eve, gather family and friends to look at photo albums from the past year and brainstorm scrapbooking ideas. Everyone, even kids, can work on a time capsule page. Things to contribute can include journal entries, artwork, 'my favourites' lists, souvenirs and, of course, photos. Have lots of snacks around to keep everyone's energy up.

Host a sleepover
Embrace your inner child this New Year's Eve by inviting friends and family over for a slumber party. The adults will love the relaxing and carefree change of pace, while the kids will get a kick out of seeing all the grownups in sleepwear.

Serve comfort food such as pizza, popcorn, hot chocolate and s'mores. Award prizes to the guests wearing the cosiest, the cutest, and the most unique sleepwear. Play party games, such as Twister or charades, and have decks of cards and board games scattered around the room. As the night begins to wind down, pop a classic film into the VCR and cuddle up to watch it. Best of all, when the dress code is pajamas, there's no need to spend money on something glitzy.

Leave your bad habits behind
Ring in the new year by hosting a symbolic cleansing ritual. Hand out slips of paper and pens to your guests and invite them to write down something from the last year that they would like to be free of (a bad habit, an upsetting memory, etc.).

One by one, ask each participant to step forward, rip the paper into tiny pieces and throw it into the fireplace or garbage can. This can be amazingly cathartic. After everyone has had a turn, ask each guest to write down a wish or goal for the upcoming year, and seal it in an envelope until next New Year's Eve.

Gather friends for brunch
If you want to avoid another late night New Year's Eve, but you still wish to mark the occasion, why not host a mid-day brunch instead? Serve easy-to-make casseroles or make it a pot-luck affair. Substitute traditional alcoholic drinks for colourful mocktails. Schmooze, relax, share resolutions, and exchange small New Year's gifts. This is a nice way to connect with your loved ones in a casual, fun environment.

Check out these ideas for a fun, kid-friendly New Year's Eve. And for the adults, enjoy these New Year's Eve cocktails for grown-up parties.
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Creative ways to celebrate New Year's Eve

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