New Year’s Day Breakfast

On the last day of the year, one is supposed to think profoundly about both the finished year and the year to come.

But all I can think about is what we should eat for breakfast tomorrow morning. This seems to be a habit.

We could eat osechi ryori, the traditional Japanese New Year’s meal. Or I have a bag of black-eyed peas that might be part of a traditional southern US New Year’s meal (note: must must must be vegetarianized!)…but I think that would be better for dinner, not breakfast.

Ach, it’s clearly too much to worry about now, so I’m returning to my little social gathering for a while.

See you in the new year! (35 minutes to go! Whee! No, 34 minutes. No, 33 minutes. No….)

New Year’s songs for children

Someone just asked whether I knew any New Year’s songs for children, and I answered no.

Nearly everyone I know sings Auld Lang Syne, but now that I think about it, that song is not easy for children.

New Year’s songs for children? Are children awake and singing at that hour? Well, okay, maybe they are.


Jean Warren has a few good catchy songs.

Start there, I’d suggest, and then furiously start making your own. We clearly need more New Year’s songs for children, because the stuff below is entirely too complicated.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin’ auld lang syne.

Yes, it’s the second verse of Auld Lang Syne.

What are gowans, and what did we do to them?

Nijntje Konijntje

Calendars are guaranteed good gifts in my family. Giving calendars in December is miffy-2009helpful, but we all understand the advantage in waiting until January: perhaps a slightly smaller selection, but the better bookstores mark the prices half off……

For 2009, I chose Nijntje calendars.


I grew up with Nijntje.

You probably grew up with Miffy.

Same cute little rabbit.

Trivia moment: name one color illustrator Dick Bruna never uses.

Nijntje speaks Dutch here, and she speaks English here.

Now I’m curious: where can I find her speaking in other languages?

New Year’s Eve for Toddlers

Soooo….your little ones want to stay up until midnight on December 31st?

All of the parents I know have this super simple solution: they temporarily change all the clock times.

Here’s how the evening might go:

1) Assure all the kids that they can most certainly stay up until the clock says it’s 12:00!

2) Eat dinner, wash the dishes, then settle around the table for an evening of family games and stories and learning how to tell time.

3) While everyone is distracted, one adult quietly sets all the clocks forward, so that instead of 7:00, it’s 11:00.

4) Big tip: Ask your neighbors to do the same.

5) Wow! Oh wow! Just look at the time! Only an hour to go, kids! Can you stay awake one more hour? Of course you can! (Don’t forget, it’s off to bed at 12:15, ok?)

5) At 11:59:00, start getting everyone excited about the countdown.

6) At midnight, shout Happy New Year! and busy yourselves with the celebrations.

7) Start yawning enormously. It’s so late! It’s time to go to bed, yes?

8) Scoot the little ones off to bed.

9) When you’re certain they’re asleep, find someone who knows the correct time, then scoot around setting all the clock right again.

10) Proceed with your big people celebrations as you wish.

Boogie Boogie Hedgehog

This song is stuck in my head.

In fact, almost everything Parry Gripp has done in the past year will be stuck in your head.

Hebrew Counting and Muppet Laughing

First there’s the excitement when counting in Hebrew.

Then there’s the contagious laughter.

Have you laughed with your favorite muppet today? No? What are you waiting for?

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