Posted in New Years, Sara

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!  Yes, I know it’s not 2012, but today I’m re-sharing my family’s favorite New Year’s tradition, our New Year’s tree!  My kids look forward to this and eagerly await the morning they wake up to find our Christmas tree transformed.  Check out all of the details below and consider starting a fun new tradition with your own family!

Original post:

It’s no secret that I’m a holiday-junkie.  I love fun family traditions and my little family has been creating a lot of our own.  But one holiday that we haven’t really done much for is New Years.  Partially because my kids are so young that a holiday centered around staying up late hasn’t been of much interest and my husband and I have been total party poopers the past few years and usually end up watching the ball drop on tv and then hitting the sack.  The other reason is that I go a little crazy for Christmas so I’m usually still winding down from that by December 31!  But every year I read my sister-in-law Emily’s family blog and see her fun New Years tradition.  She fills balloons with money and “fortunes” or New Years wishes, ties them to the un-decorated Christmas tree and their family celebrates by popping them at midnight.  Or “midnight” (whenever you decide that happens ;)  Each year I think, “ooh, I’m totally going to remember that for next year.”  And then I do remember.  About a week after New Years when she blogs about it again.  Doh!  So this year I actually remembered to ask her about it, and as I was decorating my own New Years tree I thought some of you guys might like the idea too so we’re bloggin’.  Because that’s what I do :)

I usually leave my Christmas tree up until after the New Year anyway, so I love the idea of taking off all of the ornaments and giving it a quick makeover.  I did mine after my kids were in bed last night and they were SO shocked and excited when they woke up and saw our tree this morning.  They freaked out even more when they realized there was money inside the balloons.  I ran to the party supply store yesterday and spent about $10 on cheap New Years party stuff.

We had to have some noise makers (even though I have three sons and they were pretty much born with built-in noise makers)

And big funny glasses are a must

I know my boys will LOVE these crackers; you can get them pretty cheap at party stores

and anything else you want.

I already had a bunch of balloons, from making another one of these

My sister-in-law slips little wishes for the New Year in her balloons.  I started thinking of some and then while I totally had writer’s block after only a few (I know, I’m pathetic) I spotted a little book of jokes my boys got for Christmas.  I thought those would be fun, so I put silly one-liners in all the balloons (What do you get when you cross a kangaroo and an African Elephant?  Big holes all over Australia!)  Just cut them into little strips and roll them up and slip them right in there.  If you want to print off the silly ones I used, click here.  2012 Edit:  This year I asked YOU all for jokes and you came through like champs!  I literally sat up forever reading every single one of them and laughing my eyeballs out.  Head over to our facebook page and read through the post, it’s hilarious.  (What kind of cheese is not yours?  Nacho cheese!)  Someone else just commented that it would be fun to insert favorite family memories from the past year.  I thought that was a great idea too.

I also put some coins in the balloons.  Guess where I got the coins?  My kids’ piggy banks.  Don’t judge.  My kids are little and their banks are totally loaded.  They get 99% of their haul from 3 places:

1.  Around the house (and therefore belonging originally to me)
2.  From the change dish in my car (again, mine)
3.  From a straight-up raid of my wallet. (Um, yes, for sure mine.)

Therefore it’s not bad parenting, it’s actually more like the circle of life.

I even put $1 bills in a few of them, which my kids will freak out about.  Because if there’s anything they’ve learned in their young years, it’s that they should be collecting the “green money”.

I am actually very surprised at how much the opening of a latex balloon can fit.  You could actually fit little trinkets in there, but after Christmas the last thing my kids need is more trinkets.  So we’ll settle for jokes and money!  Confetti sounds like a natural choice too- but only if you enjoy vacuuming up confetti for the next 5 years of your life.  I hate confetti.

Just tie the balloons to the tree and add in any other decorations you want.  If your tree is real, and really dried out I suppose you’ll have to be careful with the prickly needles and your balloons!  This one is artificial (total embarrassment from this Seattle girl!) so it’s no problem.  If you’re worried about your balloons popping, I recommend under-filling them with air so they’re nice and squishy.  That should help.

(If you still have lights on your tree, either leave them off, or just make sure not to put balloons or paper stuff right on the lights; especially the old-school kind that get pretty hot.  You should also leave any sort of popper that actually has some little firework-y thing in them off.)  The bonus is that you’re really not making more work for yourself since everyone will grab stuff off the tree on New Years Eve, therefore cleaning it all up for you!

When you’re ready to count down to the new year, grab the party off the tree and pop the balloons at midnight!  (Or 7pm if your kids can’t tell time yet, like mine :)  Read jokes or fortunes, collect the booty, and call it a year.

Here’s our tree that will be ringing in 2013!

 

If you like this idea- Pin it and help spread the word before New Years!

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119comments

  1. 1
    Angela A. says:

    So cute! Very fun and festive.

  2. 2
    Jen says:

    We finally found a great new years tradition that our young kids love!!. We go to a local hotel
    on new years eve–since there are a lot of us we get a suite with a kitchenette. We have fondue for dinner and chocolate fondue for dessert. We play games, usually do a simple
    Craft and write our Christmas thank you notes. We watch the ball
    drop on tv and have an apple cider toast at midnight. We go swimming and partake generously of the free breakfast. The we usually do something fun like so sledding or to a movie on new years day. It’s so fun! Secretly I kinda like it better than Christmas. It’s really low key.

  3. 3
    Patti says:

    This is the coolest thing ever! I love it when you come up with the idea (or steal it) and then we get to copy it and look totally awesome to those around us. Looking forward to that appetizer post on Thursday (I’m hosting New Year’s Eve at my house this year).

  4. 4
    teresa g says:

    Love it! One year, my mother who always loved Christmas trees and hated putting them away, was going through chemo. She left her little table top tree up most of the year and for every holiday it was decorated. Made that long year go a little better.

  5. 5
    Stormy says:

    What a CUTE idea! I usually take down the tree after New Year’s Day, but I could get a jump on it by taking off the ornaments now and replacing with these for a few days :) We usually stay up, “watch the ball drop on TV, drink a toast (sparkling juice for the kids and “the real stuff” for us adults), then shoot off fireworks! (we totally live out in the country – a few of our “close” neighbors have followed in our footsteps with the fireworks) BTW, just HOW do you keep the balloons from popping on the Christmas tree needles?

  6. 6
    Lynnette says:

    We play games all night with the kids, making ourselves sick on junk food. At midnight we go outside to watch my husband light off fireworks, shoot several rounds from his gun and torch the Christmas tree. Sounds a bit redneck-ish, I know. But it sure is fun!

  7. 7
    Jyl says:

    We get adjoining hotel rooms every New Years Eve with our family. We pack in tons of food, go swimming, play games and watch movies. Then we pack up and leave the mess for someone else to clean up!!

  8. 8
    Julie P says:

    Why would you be embarrassed about that gorgeous tree?? I love it! Thanks for the ideas, too. Totally going to bring these to our friends’ house, where we’re celebrating. :D

    • 8.1

      haha, not embarrassed- but all of my Washington friends mock me because almost everyone has real trees there where I grew up! I swore I’d never go artificial but my husband turned me to the dark side ;)

      • Julie P says:

        I’m also from WA state! :) The way I see it, having an artificial tree is good for the environment, because you don’t have to kill a tree and use the gas to go get it! ;) Besides, an artificial is the ONLY way my hubby agreed to ever have one…also because it was free. LOL

      • Loni says:

        I grew up in Seattle too and I feel like a loser for my fake tree. But our house is so small, a skinny artificial one is the only option we have. And I don’t know if I could go back. Pre-lit trees are pretty sweet. Your New Year’s tree was darling! A great idea!

      • Jessica says:

        Nothing wrong with an artificial tree! I’m sitting here enjoying mine in lovely Washington right now. No worries about it drying out before I’m ready to take it down or the mess it leaves behind. We do a real one every few years or so…

  9. 9
    Wendy says:

    We go bowling on New Year’s Day. It has been a family tradition since my great-great Grandpa’s family. If it falls on a Sunday, we will do it the Monday after. We might do it on Saturday instead this year because of the visitors we’ll have.

  10. 10
    Joannie says:

    Love it! What a great fun idea!

  11. 11
    Thesha says:

    My kids are still really small (1 and 3) so we really haven’t done anything for New Years except pray that the noise that everyone else is making doesn’t wake them up :). What a fun idea though…we took our tree down prematurely this year but I will keep it in mind for next year. We pinned it for you! You guys come up with the best ideas.

  12. 12
    Kjristi says:

    Totally laughing about the money circle of life, ’cause my kids are the same way – always finding change around the house and car that belongs to me, then convincing me they have their own money to spend on treats from the cashier line at Target! Fun tree idea. :-)

  13. 13
    Barbara says:

    Every year on New Years Eve right before midnight everyone in my family holds a dollar. It’s supposed to represent wealth for the year.

  14. 14
    Megan says:

    I LOVE this idea!! SO cute!! I would love to do this! Maybe next year since my baby will be a toddler :)

  15. 15
    Ginny says:

    I like the idea about the balloons, but I’m not sure we would put them on our tree. We don’t remove the Christmas decorations until Epiphany, which is January 8th – the 12th day of Christmas. But we also don’t put our decorations out until the third week of Advent, so they haven’t been up all that long. It would be fun to have the balloons anyway – maybe fill the floor with them?

    • 15.1
      NaDell says:

      Or hanging them like a garland somewhere would work too. Just use curling ribbon or clothespins to hang them up. (I think I’d actually prefer my wild kids pulling balloons off a garland rather than the tree…)

  16. 16
    Jenn A says:

    My husband and sons do a movie marathon – right now they watch all the Chronicles of Narnia movies. We eat popcorn and other snacks and then watch the ball drop on TV. The boys all “camp” in the basement for the rest of the night. We are starting a new tradition of homemade pizza for supper on New Years Eve.

  17. 17
    Sandy says:

    I LOVE this idea! Super fun! I wish I had thought of that when my kids were little. Hopefully our kids will do this for our grandkids!

    One of our traditions for New Year’s was to go to Costco and let each person pick out something ‘fun’ to eat that night, then to play games as a family.

  18. 18
    Diane Du says:

    We always get dressed up and go out for a late lunch, then to New Years Eve Mass at 4:30pm. After that we go home, put on our lounge clothes, play games and watch movies. For supper we have appetizers — Spinach dip, cocktail sausages in spicy sauce, Swedish meatballs, veggies & dip and whatever else we felt like making the day before. We watch the broadcast of the ball drop and midnight, celebrate with sparkling grape juice and an assortment of homemade desserts. I think we may add your idea to our New Years Day traditions!

  19. 19
    Jeanna says:

    My mom always made us eat a black eyed pea at midnight so it was the first thing consumed in the new year and would give us good luck for the year to come!

  20. 20
    NaDell says:

    A few years ago we invited some of our kids’ friends over for a little noon celebration. They made 2010 pipe cleaner glasses and toilet paper kazoos and we had some cupcakes to eat and counted down to 12 (noon!) They loved it and then we could have our own little countdown later with our friends while we played games and the kids slept.

  21. 21

    I love, love, love this idea! I am a firm believer of keeping the Christmas tree up until New Year’s Day and I love that this ties in the New Year’s celebrations/decorations. I think New Year’s party hat would be a cute tree topper!

  22. 22
    Rachel says:

    I think I might just have to haul my (live but really dead) tree out to the desert and decorated it with balloons and fun New Years stuff. We can put a few lights on it (I have some that run on batteries). Sounds like a great idea! We can have our own little countdown too and torch the tree at midnight! Thanks for sharing.

  23. 23
    Shelley says:

    My mom always took the tree down the day after Christmas and it always made me sad. You know the song I cry the day that I take the tree down from the Forgotten Carols, it should have been about me. So my families New Year’s Eve tradition is to sleep under the Christmas tree before we take it down. My husband and I haul out our mattress, and our four kids find a spot on the floor or the couch. It’s a blast. P.S. My wonderful husband got me your cookbook for Christmas. I am so excited to try so many of the recipes!

  24. 24
    Shelley W. says:

    Love this idea! I may even take it a step further and have a birthday tree for my birthday party the following week!

  25. 25
    Patti says:

    Really like this idea of putting things “in” the balloons! We usually spend the night at our church building, (like a lock-in) with the big-screen TV. Play made-up games or board games maybe we got for Christmas. A tradition the kids love… is that I buy (or get from closet) each person a large square of bubble wrapping, at mid-night they go wild stomp, stomp, stomping it as a noise maker! (can be slippery though…be careful)!!!!! Happy New Year everybody!

  26. 26
    Michelle says:

    Brilliant! Too bad I saw this after I tore my tree apart in a post Christmas frenzy and then told my kids the trash truck was coming for it. Who knew that would make them sad? They LOVE trash trucks. I’m totally tucking this away for next year!

  27. 27
    Wendy Perkins says:

    Growing up my family always celebrated with certain friends – we would play games (adults and kids alike) until midnight, then make a lot of noise including shooting off their cannon (yes, a real cannon!) and then we’d sit down to a full meal.

    These days we smash our gingerbread “house” at midnight. This year it’s an Atlas rocket.

    I love your idea with the balloons, but I’m not sure I’ll be ready to part with my Christmas tree by New Year’s! (Yes, it’s fake – we’ve always traveled over Christmas, so a real one wouldn’t be safe.)

    A word of caution though – be real careful with the un-rolly, blowy, party thingies (neither my husband nor I can think what you call them at the moment). They can do real damage if someone gets it in the eye – I know this from personal experience! No blowing at people’s faces!

  28. 28
    Linda says:

    One of our traditions has been to run and open the back door and the front door.. and then bang pot and pans or lids through the house to get rid of the Past Year, and welcome the New Year.. has worked for us.. lol. always looking for a pinch of good luck..

  29. 29
    Ellie says:

    What a fun idea! We are thinking of having a party for New Year’s Eve with several families. I think I’m going to turn on a Youtube video of the ball dropping another year at around 9:30. If everyone has a balloon to pop and then gets some money, maybe they won’t notice when the ball drops and 2011 lights up instead of 2012.

  30. 30

    What a fabulous idea!

    We usually stay in, eat take-out, and watch tv : )

  31. 31
    Jenn says:

    I absolutely love this idea! My kids are usually at Grandma’s for New Year’s, but this could totally work on another day (the day they go back to school, maybe?)

    When I was a little girl, I used to have a New Year’s Eve party with my Grandma. As I got older, I would make decorations and buy special food. We’d watch tv and then, when it came on, we’d watch the New Year’s special with Dick Clark. Those are some of the best memories I have of my Grandma and I miss her the most at this time of year.

    Ryan Seacrest just isn’t the same :(

  32. 32
    Melissa says:

    This is such a GREAT idea! I’ve never heard of anything like it. Thanks for sharing!!!

  33. 33
    Julie Rauch says:

    I love the holidays too! We celebrate with some extended family, for dinner we eat appetizers (so I am excited for Thursday’s ideas) and decorate the house. Since my kids are little and have a hard time staying up, we have a New York New Years and celebrate it at our 9:00pm, which is midnight New York’s time. We watch the New York ball drop, have our own balloon drop, blowers, sparklers left over from the 4th of July. It is just a fun night.

  34. 34
    Mama Zen says:

    This is such a fun idea!

  35. 35
    Mayu says:

    What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing it. I just pinned it too!

  36. 36
    Elizabeth says:

    That is so cute!

  37. 37
    susan says:

    You are such a cool mom. Will you adopt me? ;) I will tuck this idea away for some future year for when there are kiddos home on New Years.

  38. 38

    What a fun idea, we leave our tree up till 12th night because it’s also our sons birthday and he’ll be six but i may give some thought to your ideas and include them. I don’t ‘do’ new year it usually leaves me in tears or tired but it may just work if we’re gonna be home infront of the box. Seasons Greetings :)

  39. 39

    I love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s traditions – both old and new.

  40. 40
    Krysta says:

    This is a fantastic idea! Love!

  41. 41
    Angie Y says:

    Super fun idea!!! We have a traditional New Year’s Eve party with a whole group of us that went to school together. It’s an adults only party (unless someone has a new baby…which someone always does!) and we all bring food to eat. We sip hot chocolate and soda (not together) play ping-pong, darts, board games…whatever we can find to do! At midnight, we watch the ball drop, kiss our sweethearts, and keep partying until we only have enough ‘awake’ left to drive home!

  42. 42
    Mikey says:

    My daughter’s family (in AZ) with 4 kids have a “Burping Contest” at “Midnight”. (When the kids were younger, “Midnight” was MUCH earlier — but they’re on to the whole clock thing now). They drink root beer or ginger ale and see who can burp the loudest or longest, which determines who will have the best luck. This is so much fun that last year they included their 3 boy-cousins in Louisiana via Skype. The 2 year old in LA won, hands down!!!

  43. 43
    Domestic Diva North says:

    This is a cute idea! We have a party every year with only adults (Christmas is full of family fun and NYE is the one night we can all get together and have some grown up fun). Before everyone comes (not usually until 8:30 or 9) we have a party with our kids, let them eat tonnes of junk and have a dance party and drink Martinelli’s . The older girls get to watch a movie on the portable DVD player in our room and the 2 littles go to bed. It is fun for all but I love the die of incorporating the tree into our night. It is such a cute idea and I already bought a tonne of fun stuff, just need the balloons!

  44. 44
    Renae says:

    I love leaving my tree up until after the kids start school again. I may have to adjust it and do this idea. That way I can feel a little more justified in my leaving the tree up–just onto the next holiday.

    Thanks for posting this.

  45. 45

    My mom always did a New Years tree…I always loved that. We never had MONEY in the balloons, though! Wow…that is a cool idea. And I’m laughing that you raided your kids’ piggy banks! Totally hilarious! I may raid my kiddo’s gumball machine pennies…the gumball machine is in his room and stocked with m&m’s…and guess who supplies those pennies? ME!

    Happy New Year to you both! I just ordered your calendar and it should be delivered tomorrow!!! Yay! So excited for you to be in my kitchen EVERY day!

  46. 46
    Amiee says:

    What a cute idea!!! My kids are 20 months and 4 years, and I’m desperately searching for New Year’s Traditions (as well as Christmas ones) to start with my young family…we never did many traditional things when I was a child, so I want to make sure I do it with my own kids! I really think this is super fun! Also like the other comment about sleeping under the tree! LOL!

  47. 47
    Emily says:

    One of the things we do at midnight is eat jelly donuts! There is one special donut that has mustard inside … The person that bites into the mustard donut is set to have great luck for the following year. But they don’t have to eat the mustard donut- they can exchange it for a tasty jelly donut :-)

    Another tradition for New Years is a family game night where kids play games in one room and have a sleepover and grown ups play group games in the living room! It’s a great way to have a kid friendly party and for kids to feel like it is a special day! They also love the idea of trying to stay up until. Midnight, which doesn’t actually happen :-)

  48. 48
    Kristi says:

    Love Cheese!! I grew up with grandparents from Switzerland where good cheese plates as just as important as good bread!! Thanks for the tips and pairing ideas.

  49. 49
    Megan says:

    love it!!!!!! I’m going to do this!

  50. 50
    Janie says:

    We started going to a local hotel with a pool probably about 6 or 7 yrs ago on New Year’s Eve. Across the street is a Pizza Hut. So we walk across the street for supper and breakfast is free at the hotel. This year, we’re taking one of my 8 yr old daughter’s classmates. I have been looking for some little games and/or favors & these are some great ideas!! Thank you!

  51. 51
    emily smith says:

    Awww, I’m so flattered by this! My kids look forward to the balloon popping every year. . . we can’t wait!

  52. 52
    Julianne says:

    What a fabulous idea! I love the ‘changing’ of the decorations on the tree. Makes it fresh and fun for the kids to participate!! Thanks for sharing this!! :O)

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    Great Idea!! “Im thinking I will do this next year!!..

  54. 54
    Patti says:

    My daughter and grandson just finished decorating our New Year’s Eve tree. It looks divine! However, I forgot to tell her to put stuff inside the balloons…oops.

  55. 55
    Cheryl says:

    When my kids were little and we did have a real tree, on New Years eve we would take down all decorations. Then we took pine cones, from around our home, put peanut butter on them. Then the kids would roll the pine cones in birdseed and leftover nuts (from holiday baking). Then we would take the tree out into the woods and leave it for the birds or small animals for the winter. Then on bad weather thru the holidays the kids would fix additional pine cones and when they could go hiking into the woods and leave more treats.

  56. 56
    Jaimee says:

    I loooove this idea!! I pinned it to my New Years Board, and am also sharing it in a New Years – Things to Try post on my crafty blog. I had come across the idea somewhere else, but with no pictures. Your post is fab – we get to see the process and the finished tree. Love it!!

  57. 57
    Megan says:

    My family started a tradition years ago of trying “weird” food on New Year’s Eve. We’ll go to a specialty store like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and find various foods we’ve never had before. We usually try to get mostly things that actually look good, but we’ll often find one or two that seem truly “weird”. We’ll put it all out to snack on while we play games, watch movies, etc.

  58. 58
    Mollie says:

    After reading your blog for 2+ years, buying your wonderful cookbook (which I use at LEAST once a week), and feeding my family your delicous recipes more times than I can count, I just barely made the connection that you’re Nate’s sister. Nate was my husbands roommate at BYU, and my husband (Sam Payne) knew Emily as well. SO CRAZY!

  59. 59
    Amy B says:

    Just wanted to leave a comment and say thank you! I am using this idea tonight!

  60. 60
    Monica Cook says:

    Well, I’m reading this post on New Year’s Day, so I’m late to the game. I, too, have little children and have been anxious to develop traditions they’ll fondly remember. I will be using this next year. My husband’s deployed this year, and after a lot of Christmas activities, baking, celebrating, I was pretty worn out, but this would be easy enough to pull off. I may just go to a hotel like some of your other readers mentioned.

  61. 61
    Kelsey says:

    I looooove my new years tree. Thank you :)

  62. 62
    Lisa Vargas says:

    I LOVE this idea! Even though I have teenagers, I want to do this next year. I’m hoping you or one of your readers might have an idea to replace the latex balloons. I have a daughter with special needs and has allergies to them. I enjoy reading all your posts and ideas. I can’t wait for your ideas for 2012!!!

  63. 63
    Gina says:

    Emily’s my cousin and we were up at the Evan’s house to participate in this one year and I thought it was so cool! My brother got a balloon with a coupon good for a new dress and all the Evans girls were jealous :o). But like you I kept forgetting about this or away from home and unable to choose the New year’s activities but my mom remembered this this year and we did it and had a blast. We included “minute to win it” games in some balloons and other challenges. The “Face the Cookie” (with gingerbread men) and whistle a tune without smiling were hilarious fun! If you go to the minute to win it website they tell you how to play it and what supplies you need and include video clips to demonstrate.
    Another idea is to celebrate the New Year’s for the time zone that best suites your bedtime schedule and celebrate it the way they would in that area. One year we celebrated the Argentine New Years because that’s where my brother went on his mission and we were at his house.
    I like the idea of including the party on the tree too. So fun!

  64. 64

    What a fabulous idea! I whipped out a New Years tree this year and my kids LOVED it!!! Thanks!!!

  65. 65

    I don’t have any children yet but this idea is so wonderful that I’ll have to remember it!

  66. 66
    Juli says:

    Another idea for little ones, a local community center had a “Noon Year’s Eve Party” – obviously at noon – with crafting, singing, cookie decorating, etc. stations. We had a great time – our kiddo loved it. And a much more friendly little one time! Ended up wearing him out and he went to bed early and we had a quiet NYE, just the two of us. Think I’ll do that for our close friends next year or maybe even at church. (I know I’m a little late adding this but thought it was a good idea that others might like!)

  67. 67
    Shelby says:

    I normally never leave comments, but New Years has been and was one of my favorite holidays growing up! Our tradition includes hanging out over yummy food and fun games until “midnight”, when we turn on a favorite song (in our case, it’s Love Shack by the B52′s) and eat Belgian waffles with berries, whip cream, ice cream, syrup, etc. It is so fun and little kids always look forward to it!

  68. 68
    Kasey says:

    What a wonderful idea!

  69. 69
    Debbie Riffel says:

    My mom would always bake banana bread with delish icing and my dad and our neighbor (who worked at the railroad right behind our house) would take my brother and let him blow the train whistle at midnight. I looooooooove the New Year’s tree. God brought your idea to me at the perfect time! My 16 month old grandbaby is out of state right now and so we are opening his presents when he gets back on the 31st. I was going to take the tree down, now I will add the balloons! Thank you and have a blessed New Year!

  70. 70
    Robin says:

    I’ve always taken down the tree New Years Eve. or before. I was told it was bad luck and you will have a bad year. Something about bringing in the new year with the old tree.

  71. 71
    Lorelei says:

    I excited about this idea! Sounds like so much fun for my kids. Maybe someone already said this, but I’m thinking of also putting some happy memories our family has from 2012 in the baloons to celebrate this past year.

  72. 72
    Jennifer S. says:

    This is a fantastic idea that maybe I’ll get around to next year when I get new years stuff on clearance this year(!). We always leave our tree up for new years as religiously the wise men did not make it to baby jesus until new years….. Thanks for your great family friendly ideas!!! : )

  73. 73
    Gina says:

    What a fab idea!! I love it!

  74. 74
    amber says:

    what an AWESOME IDEA! Thanks so much for sharing!
    We will be doing this…. love starting new family traditions! ;)
    Happy New Year!

  75. 75
    Becky says:

    LOVE this idea! Great way to kick into gear and get my Christmas stuff coming down. I have been known to leave stuff up until early spring! SO CUTE!

  76. 76
    Kim P says:

    Brilliant!!
    I just took my Christmas decorations off the tree and it just looks so depressing now.
    Since our new tradition is to buy a real potted tree to plant after the holidays, and it’s a little too cold outside yet to take it out of the house, I’ve been trying to think of what I could do with it.
    Decorating it for New Years Eve is a great idea.

  77. 77
    Ruth says:

    I love this! We’re usually the lame kind of parents who go to bed by 10 p.m. on New Years Eve…but it’s the new year somewhere in the world right? This would make it a little more fun for my kids!

  78. 78
    Nancy Swarthout says:

    I love how you used balloons! I have done this same thing for years! I just started using the necklaces and have never used the baloons. I also use new years streamers as the garland!I collect the large bubble wrap and they stomp on that as they blow their horns at midnight!

  79. 79
    Alicia says:

    Thanks for the idea! My daughter was born on New Year’s Eve last year and I was looking for more ideas for a little kid party for her.

    We are also making Mormon Margaritas and Pina Coladas.

  80. 80
    Carol says:

    Love, love this idea! You are so creative!

  81. 81
    Cami says:

    Sara, this is a tradition that Terry ALWAYS did. I have never done it, but have been thinking my kids are ready to really enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder (not the day after New Years)!!!

  82. 82
    Silv says:

    This is a fantastic idea – and one I wish I’d thought/heard of years ago when my kids were little, my husband would go to bed early, and I tried to entertain them as best as I could. For sure I’ll do this in the future for my grandkids – I can just see this being an adventure for them and at the same time give my kids and their future spouses a night out! Well done!

  83. 83
    Nadine Osborne says:

    Your New Year’s Tree is beautiful, I love balloons, and tucked into the tree they’re so pretty.

  84. 84
    Bridget says:

    Great idea thanks for sharing, I was wondering when to undecorate the tree and still enjoy the smell and greenery.

  85. 85
    akl says:

    I loved the tree idea. Wish I had some little kids here to ooh and ahh over this idea and laugh themselves silly still! I’m old but next year I am going to do this with my friends but the jokes may be more adult. I have all year to collect them.

    Just wanted to give you some ideas since you give me so many. Thx.
    The Book of New Family Traditons: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day (Revised Edition)
    by Meg Cox.
    I have been giving this book with your book as a wedding gift and I put it in a pyrex baking dish with their last named glass etched in the bottom and tie a bow around it (no wrapping) and I tell them on the card that I love your website and it will help them become exceptional women with exceptional skills.

  86. 86
    Susan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea! My family has made our own New Year’s traditions, and this was a great one to add. I did our tree tonight (kids are sleeping over at the in laws) and can’t wait to surprise them tomorrow!

  87. 87
    Linda says:

    Fantastic idea. I wish I known about it when my kids were little. Might be a good idea for the grandies. Thank you!

  88. 88
    ThaliaRocks says:

    Our tradition is always having a party or huge family get togethers. U should post about how to do partys…
    Just a thought though .
    ThaliaRocks

  89. 89
    ThaliaRocks says:

    Don’t you get worried by morning the balloon s will pop?
    Sorry for the trouble
    ThaliaRocks

  90. 90
    Jenny says:

    Love this! And knowing that you’re from Seattle makes me like you guys even more (Im from Issaquah and am rocking the fake tree too). Thanks for sharing!

  91. 91
    Caytlin says:

    I know it’s a little late, but today I saw an awesome joke on Pinterest and thought of your tree. Maybe you can save it for next year…

    What does a nosey pepper do? Gets jalapeno business!!

  92. 92
    kristen says:

    Such a cute idea! Is your tree real? If so, how do you get it to last until New Year’s?? Ours is completely dead by Christmas night :(

  93. 93
    Tricia Baker says:

    Tried this last night, the kids loved it. We’ll definitely be adding this to our New Years traditions.

  94. 94
    Julie says:

    We have always re-decorated our tree for New Years as well! One thing we add is photos as a recap of the year, then (ideally) I put them in a photobook. I also have 2 birthdays in early January and we keep the tree and decorate with pictures of each child.

  95. 95
    Trina C says:

    We stole your idea and now we have a new family tradition! I didn’t tell the kids what was in the balloons and over the few days they were up they came up with great ideas as to what could be in them (or will be next year) we waited until breakfast the next day to open as with 7 kids we aren’t always in the same place at midnight…some of us were asleep! Lol

  96. 96
    Kristy says:

    My mom did this one year with our tree. We actually left it up until after Valentine’s Day!

  97. 97

    What a fantastic idea this is! It really is cute! Thank you for a wonderful share. Hugs Echo :)

  98. 98
    Liz says:

    Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing! I’ve found our new tradition!

  99. 99
    Cyndi Stanton says:

    Two of my girls did this for my youngest sons birthday last year after seeing your post. He loved it!! Thank you so much for sharing, I know my son is looking forward to his special New Years Eve birthday tree again this year!

  100. 100
    Lean says:

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  101. 101
    rebecca says:

    that is an awesome idea!! thanks for sharing!

  102. 102
    Jody says:

    Love this fun, easy idea! I’ve been hosting a “kid” New Years party for my 4 grandchildren for a few years now, and this is just a terrific NEW fun thing to do! I happen to have most of what I’ll put on the tree–hats, noisemakers, balloons and a few dollar bills! As others commented, it gives a reason to undecorate the tree from Christmas a little earlier than usual, and then the kids will pull off the New Years stuff, leaving it ready to dismantle (fake tree too, but I live in Arizona, ha ha). Thanks!

  103. 103
    Debra says:

    I just realized why you guys are called Mormon Moms. Because the kids always say, “More Mom!”
    Happy Holidays Everyone!

  104. 104
    Kristen Norby says:

    I came on specifically to look this up and it was the current post! Wahoo!

  105. 105
    Holly Boyd says:

    Hi girls. I love your cookbooks so much, that I’ve purchased them not only for myself, but for some of my friends and family too. I was wondering if you plan to come out with another one. I need more of your great recipes. I was also wondering if you would ever consider giving us tours of the other rooms of your house, like you did your kitchens. I’d love to see it all!

  106. 106
    Larissa says:

    Hi – On a related note – have been SEARCHING for the perfect fake tree! Love yours- what kind is yours and where did you get yours (if you remember!) THANKS!

  107. 107
    Traci says:

    We just decorated ours last night. The kids had a blast waking up this morning. Thank you, THANK YOU for this great idea. We bought our tree so late this year and I hated to take it down, so this was the perfect idea for it. http://burntapple.com/2013/12/31/new-years-tree/

  108. 108
    Shelley C. says:

    My mom made one of these this year. It rocked, I blogged about it. I always take my tree down the day after Christmas. Usually the real tree is dry by this time we don’t do fake. This year it was not but I still took it out. Now I wish I would have left it this year.

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