New Years Eve Pressure: Even parents feel it

New Years Eve Pressure:  Even parents feel it

So you think the pressure to do something big and exciting on New Years Eve ends after you get married and have children - well it doesn't.  You have a short reprieve right after you have kids, and they're still too young to know exactly what the night is all about.  But then it all comes back again when they learn how to think and talk.

I seem to have a short memory when it comes to my early 20's, but I do recall some amazing New Years Eve celebrations.  Elaborate hotel parties, drinking free apple champagne at Mother's (which resulted in some of my most embarrassing memories), dancing on the tables in the San Diego Gaslamp District, an out-of control Mexican resort -- there were just so many significant New Years Eves.  I'm sure all those events came about because I felt pressured to do something big, and I have to admit, I don't regret one of them (except maybe the apple champagne year).

But now that I'm definitely settled into my life and have kids to think about, I'm really good with making this night not-so-significant.  However I've got those pesky kids asking me constantly, "What are we doing for New Years Eve?"

I had 15 years of pressure from friends to have amazing Eve's, and I think I performed pretty well, but now it's coming from my kids?  And quite honestly, I even get a little tired of friends asking how "big" we're going this year.  I hate to act old, but I kind of want to say - been there, done that... don't need to prove anything anymore.  I'm really happy and want to spend the night at my favorite place.  In my home with my husband and kids.  But the rest of the world seems to think that's just lame.

So I'm currently on the hunt for something significant to do that will make all of us happy.  It needs to be memorable, but I know I want to take my kids with me, so would like it family friendly, and would love if it could be completed prior to the strike of midnight.  My kids ages span from 4 - 15, so it's hard to please them all.

I looked at Navy Pier, but wasn't sure I could handle that crowd.  Thought about the Brookfield Zoo party, but the weather looks a little iffy.  We were going to do Medieval Times, but that show is sold out.  My husband just bought the Star Wars Blu-ray Complete Saga and made a movie marathon suggestion, but it was met with less than stellar responses.

Looks like I'm back to square one and on the hunt for a way to say good-bye to 2011 and start 2012 on a great note.  But if you think about it, can there really be any better company than R2D2 or C-3PO?


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  • Here's what my family and I do. We choose a really nice restaurant downtown and have an early dinner. It's usually around 6:30 or 7:00. My kids enjoy dining at fancy restaurants. We go home and watch movies or play games that the kids choose. The kids decorate our family room with balloons and streamers. The party stores have great kits for New Years Eve celebrations. We put on our party hats and get out the noise makers and at the stroke of midnight we are having our own family party complete with noise makers, party hats, sparkling apple cider and of course champagne!

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