For many people the holiday season culminates with a big shebang as they celebrate what was and what is to come. As your family plans the December 31 festivities, consider bringing in the New Year with these merry crafts and activities.

HOOPLA HAT

Items needed: Plain, colored plastic visor (found at craft stores), foam or cardboard stars and numbers 2, 0, 1, 7 (1½-inch or less), glitter, jewels, bright colored pipe cleaners, pencil, tacky glue (or glue gun).

To make this party hat, the visor will be worn across the top of your head with the brim facing forward. Glue the numbers 2, 0, 1, 7 to the center of the visor brim. Add stars. Embellish with glitter and jewels. Wrap pipe cleaners around a pencil to create spiral shapes. Remove pencil. Glue pipe cleaners to the back of the visor.

NUTTI-LICIOUS NOISEMAKER

Items needed: Empty toilet paper tube, bright colored foil wrapping paper, metallic curling ribbon, tape, peanuts and/or small unwrapped candy (i.e. Skittles, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces).

Fill the toilet paper roll with nuts and/or candy. Leave enough room for the tube to rattle. Wrap the roll with brightly colored foil paper, leaving three inches on each end for tying off. Secure the paper with tape. Twist ends and close off with curling ribbon. On New Year’s Eve, shake and rattle your noisemaker then unroll it and enjoy a sweet treat!

KRAZY KAZOO

Items needed: Empty toilet paper tube, scissors, waxed paper, rubber bands, foil, tape, curling ribbon, holiday stickers.

Measure and cut waxed paper to be a two and a half inch circle. Cover one end of the toilet paper roll with the circle and secure with a rubber band. Use the scissors to make two small slits in the center of the waxed paper for air to pass through. Wrap the tube in foil, trim the ends and secure with tape. For a festive look, attach curling ribbons that dangle from the sides and embellish with holiday stickers. Keep the merriment going all night by humming through the open end of your kazoo.

COUNTDOWN CAPSULE

Items needed: Large, empty coffee can, photographs, letter to yourself stating your future goals and dreams, list of your best friends, video recording of you, your family and/or your friends, newspaper article that reflects a major current event, ticket stubs to your favorite movie, copy of your favorite song on CD, packing tape, shovel, paper, pencil.

Fill the coffee can with suggested items above. Add anything else you think would be fun to find 10 years from now. Replace lid and seal around the edges with packing tape. Dig a hole in your backyard and bury the time capsule. Make a map with instructions on where it is located. Keep this map somewhere you will find later. Or give it to your parents for safe keeping. Wait 10 years. This may seem like a long time, but think of how great it will be when you open it a decade from now.

FUN FACTOID: THE GOOD OL’ DAYS

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve people around the world sign off another year by singing, “Auld Lang Syne.” But few know where the song originated or how it became so popular. “Auld Lang Syne,” translated to “old long since” or “days gone by,” was a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 set to the tune of a traditional folk song. The Scots began singing the song on New Year’s Eve and the idea soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As people immigrated around the world, they took the song and the tradition with them. In 1929, Band Leader Guy Lombardo began using “Auld Lang Syne” during his annual radio and TV broadcasts of the event held in New York City. Today this beloved tradition lives on.

CELEBRATORY READS

While you’re gearing up for your New Year celebration, check out these holiday-related stories, available at bookstores and local libraries.

“First Night” by Harriet Ziefert.

“Goodbye Old Year, Hello New Year” by Frank Modell.

“Just in Time for New Year’s!: A Harry & Emily Adventure” by Karen Gray Ruelle.

“New Year’s Day” by David F. Marx.

“P. Bear’s New Year’s Party” by Paul Owens Lewis.


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Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.