I am a freelance writer living in Gloucestershire. I have been writing family style articles in the form of columns for newspapers since 2000 and spent four years presenting an interview chat show on Forest of Dean Radio.
Anyone with children will know that babysitters are simply not an available option on New Year's Eve. As such, once that first little one arrives, you need to find a different way to spend New Year which includes them, and if possible, your friends children in your plans.
So what are the options? Well here are three ideas to get you thinking, and if you haven't planned anything in time for this year, then why not use the time leading up to midnight to have a think about how you intend to celebrate next New Year's Eve?
1. Host a dinner party, or party, with a small group of friends
This is a great option for people with young children and works particularly well if you have a close set of friends with whom who you are happy to regularly spend New Year's Eve. In fact we have been entertaining and been entertained by the same set of friends for many New Year's Eves. It all started when our eldest was a baby and continued from thereonin. Children have always been included in the activities and as such babysitters have not been a problem. There have been additions to the party from time to time, but the core group has remained as is and works particularly well. For me, this is New Year's Eve. The children, when little, would eat and then toddle off to bed while the grown ups continued to party. The reason it has always been a smaller gathering is because everyone stays the night at the hosts' house, thereby eliminating the need for taxis home, which if you live in a rural area, as we do, would be impossible on NewYear's Eve anyway.
It has probably over the years looked a bit like the final scene from the film The Holiday. I'm not quite sure which ones of our party are Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. But we can all dream.
2. Involve Older Children in a Murder Mystery Party
There comes a time when the children get a bit fed up with not being involved in the celebrations up to midnight, and so, quite rightly, over the years we have thought of various ways to include them in the activities, without their being completely bored by adult conversation or company.
One very successful year we held a murder mystery party. The credit for this idea actually goes to my friend, whose children at the time were the oldest of our gathering, but still not old enough to do their own thing at New Year. We had a total party of fifteen, with nine kids aged from five up.
If you have ever bought a boxed set of a murder mystery party, you will know that they usually come for sets of eight or so people. And so, creative friend and I sorted out some more characters and costumes for the additional extras. It's not hard to do. It meant two of us rather than one being in on the action prior to the event, but the end result was one of the funniest and most fun New Year's Eves ever.
This is not one that I have personally done myself, but it is one that looks absolutely amazing. It is not inexpensive, but to spend an unforgettable New Year's Eve with your young ones, this is certainly one that would would meet that target.
There is plenty to do, with husky sled rides, reindeer rides and snowmobile safaris. Even your older children won't be bored, and given the cost, it is probably sensible to do this at a time when they are likely to remember the experience. The little ones can personally thank Santa for their presents and all can enjoy the New Year's Eve fireworks and festivities. Whilst there you may be able to take in the Northern Lights too, another once in a lifetime experience.
Flights, accommodation, food and thermals are often included in packages, so all you need do, once you have paid for it of course, is turn up and enjoy.
You can visit Lapland from anywhere in the world, but of course the costs vary. You can visit Finland's official travel site, or one of the many travel operators around the world including the UK, Australia, or the US.