Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years: Party Hats, Costa Rican Traditions and a Balloon Drop!

Happy New Year everyone! While our family didn't prepare a five course meal and set off fireworks, I thought we'd share how we celebrated in our own fun and traditional way.
 After nap on New Years Eve, Tyler made his first party hat! We used card stock rolled to make a cone. Tyler decorated it with markers, stickers and glitter/glue. We also talked in a basic way about the end and start of a new year.

We then wrapped pipe cleaners around a pencil to stick in the top for an additional decorative touch. Though that was tricky for Tyler, I included him in helping me wrap pipe cleaners around a pencil to create a spiral shape. I later tied on a chin strap with thin ribbon.

The finished product! I can't say that the hat stayed on long as he didn't like the strap to be tight on his chin, but he was happy with how it looked!

Tyler went to bed at his usual time, but my husband and I stayed up to follow an old Costa Rican tradition! My husband's mother grew-up in Costa Rica where twelve grapes are eaten between 11:59 and midnight on New Years night. This is said to give you good luck for each month of the new year. Though doing a little online research it seems that the grapes are to be eaten at midnight, we follow what has been passed down from his mother. Eating twelve grapes in one minute makes it an interesting challenge! If you're curious about other Costa Rican traditions (many of which my husband was unaware of), take a look at this site.

Though Tyler's balloon obsession has died down a bit, he's still quite a fan, so we created a balloon drop for him on New Year's Eve! We did this by lacing yarn through an old sheet and taping it to the ceiling before stuffing it with balloons.We had glorious plans of surprising him with balloons showering over him in the morning after breakfast and Tyler dancing around with his arms up, shouting with glee. What an amazing childhood moment it would be!

Well, Tyler noticed the bulging sheet hanging from the ceiling as soon as he entered the living room upon waking and quickly spotted the mass of balloons within it tool. In the few moments of coordinating video cameras and still cameras with my husband, Tyler became frustrated that his precious balloons were so out of reach (a Montessori child isn't so accustomed to this!).   

While he thought the actual drop was pretty neat, he mostly just relieved that the balloons were finally about to be in his possession. Not exactly the memorable childhood moment we had imagined! We had to laugh.

That said, Tyler did really enjoy being surrounded by all of the balloons, especially the black ones, as they're his favorite color. Now I have to get creative and figure out what to do with them all!

I think we may keep this one as a New Year's tradition. We have a whole year to figure out how to make it more of a true surprise!

What New Year's traditions do you follow in your home?

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