Try this family New Year's Eve activity. Buy a new PAPER family wall calendar. One with pages that can turn, not one you erase weeks gone by. Take down the old one together and go through it month by month. Talk about things that happened during the year. Reflect out loud for children too young or struggling to reflect for themselves. [Ex: "Remember how nervous you were about the first day of school and who would be in your class? Now look at how well you know the other kids!"]
Then get out the new calendar. Write in birthdays for everyone, marked with heart stickers or drawn with red marker circles. Mark anniversaries or other family events that you know about. Maybe even put some goals on sticky notes and attach to the calendar. Agree to use the family calendar a new way: Mark challenges, guests, celebrations, achievements, events and appointments. Turn the monthly pages, don't rip them off and discard them.
Reflection is healthy. Perspective is even better.
Next New Year's Eve you can gather again to reflect on the calendar diary of the year you will have created over the year, and prepare for another calendar for another new year.
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.