It’s been a post-holiday whirlwind of Wii, Legos, and new games around here, so our Winter Break has literally flown by. With my husband’s early-week knee surgery keeping us pretty much under our own roof, it’s unbelievable to me that the week has already passed, not to mention all of 2010.
We rocked New Year’s Eve here at our house, with a family fondue dinner and sparkling cider, and today we completed year #2 of our New Year’s Family Interviews.
It seems like we did our first New Year’s Family Interviews just yesterday, but it was–to be exact–356 days ago.
New Year’s Family Interviews:
The concept is really simple, but it’s one that–I really believe–is worth the teeny bit of time it takes.
The New Year’s Family Interview is just an interview that each person in the family completes on New Year’s Day (or as close to it as possible).
And the idea is that each person answers the questions and then reads through last year’s answers to see how his or her tastes and ideas have changed over time.
To try for yourself, the New Year’s Family Interview is here to download as a pdf. I have included six blank spaces for family members, with two people to a sheet.
Maddy works on her interview questions. . .
The questions are the same as last year (which is the point, I suppose!), and they include a spot for everyone to write their own name because I love how signatures change over time.
Questions about the year–Who is your teacher? How old are you?–are mixed with questions about favorites, friends, and memories.
The New Year’s Family Interview includes questions like:
- What is your favorite toy?
- What is your favorite food?
- How do you like to spend your time?
- What is your favorite book?
- Who is your best friend?
The last two questions, What did you love about last year? and What do you look forward to this year?, are the only ones that require a bit more thought. I wanted this to be low-stress and quick with basic questions that would just give us a snapshot of each person.
This year was the year of Maddy being able to read the questions and write all of the answers by herself (wow!), Owen writing some of his, and just a silly, silly Cora. Owen’s answers again were quick, without a whole lot of thought, while Maddy pined over hers. Cora answered whatever she thought would make Maddy and Owen laugh, with a bunch of them focusing on boogies or bananas.
Next year, we’ll try to do the interviews separately and then compare answers. . .
Truth be told, I cannot–for the life of me!–find last year’s completed New Year’ s Family Interviews, and I’m (grrrr) totally and completely frustrated at my own over-organization. I’m sure they’re somewhere safe, where they’d never be lost, where we’d be sure to find them every. single. year.
I just cannot find that place.
So rather than stew on it–I’m really not stewing –I picked up a binder especially for the New Year’s Family Interviews. And the binder’s staying right on our bookshelf near the kids’ (unfinished) baby books. It’s bright. It’s blue. The interviews are punched and are happily resting in their permanent home. Never to be lost.
So that’s it–goodbye to one year and hello to a new year, a New Year filled with tons of exciting adventures to be had, lessons to be learned, and memories to be made. Let’s make it a great one!
Here’s to a happy, healthy, peaceful year filled with love, laughter, and time together!
Do you want to buy the New Year’s Family Interview:
Need some more fun New Year’s ideas?
- New Year’s Bingo Bonanza
- New Year’s 20 Questions
- Easy, Affordable New Year’s Traditions
- New Year’s Shakers
- Scratch Off Tickets
- New Year’s Pinterest board
Please feel free to pin this post for later!
This is a great idea! I do a similar thing for my children on their birthdays – I make a little book for them (very basic!). But to have a collection for the whole family is priceless, and will provide wonderful memories (and laughs, I’m sure) in years to come.
Thanks so much! I like the birthday idea, too, though–but I know that with all the fanfare that comes with a birthday, I’d most likely forget. . . but still, I LOVE the idea!!
Thanks for writing, and happy 2011!
I do something similar on birthdays as well. But instead of having the child fill out something, I have the family members fill out something for the birthday kid and bind it into a book. It’s usually 5 questions/statemtents…1)I love you because….2)You are special because…3)My hopes and dreams for you are….4)Lessons or advice for the future…5)What I want you to know about me. My husband and I each wrote letters to go along with ours and they will get them when they are much older.
It’s awesome to read. Some people wrote things to my children that they wanted them to know about them that I didn’t even know. It’s great to see what kind of advice they offer for the future (so varied!) and why they think that child is special.
As far as the unfinished baby books, I’ll tell you what may work for you. It’s not the same as the baby books, but still. Take some index cards (a diff. color for each child if you like to get fancy…I didn’t because that would be more work and more work is why the baby books aren’t finished in the first place) and cut them in half. Keep a stack somewhere in plain sight with a pen (or maybe in a clear pencil box so that the pile doesn’t get knocked over all the time). Anytime you remember something or your children do something you don’t want to forget, just go to the box and jot it down. If you remember something from their babyhood that you never did write down and you just might forget again, go ahead and jot it down too. At least this way, you can do like me and breathe easy that it’s at least written down…and daydream that one day you might actually use that information to finish up the baby books.
OH my gosh, Brandy–what a super birthday idea! I love it–and so meaningful!!
Also love the baby book idea; so much more realistic than actually finishing the baby books, right? I love that they’re color-coded…that helps keep me sane!
Many thanks, my friend, for writing and for sharing YOUR fab ideas!!
My problem with finishing the baby books is that I’ve set the bar extremely high. I want everything in it to be written in my best handwriting, with the best pictures, etc. I don’t feel like I have to do anything special on the index cards…just write the information down…which is really the most important part.
You are so right–let’s lower the standards just a bit and get information down! That’s all that really matters, right?
Brandy you are so awesome.
Great idea! Thank you for sharing! I think the kids will love this! ALL of your ideas are always so brilliant, we’ve enjoyed many of them in our home! 🙂
Thanks so much, Breanna! I appreciate your kind words so much more than you know–happiest New Year to you!
What a great idea! TFS
thanks so much! Let me know if it works for you!
we do the same thing. i start them when they turn 2 and have definite likes. i love looking back at them. (i add in an assessment to ours, well… b/c i am a teacher forever and ever and always. it’s not pressure filled at all. the boys love it. i ask them, “how high can you count?” and off they go. now with my 5 yr old i no longer do that b/c i would be there a while and i just write 100+. 🙂 i throw out our letters and they pick them up and identify them and their sounds. i put ones they know in one pile and the others they don’t in another pile. i don’t comment on either. we just go through them. it is amazing to see their progress.) i will have to tweek it once my biggest starts Kinder in the fall.
Wow! You are much more adventurous than I! Love the idea of adding an assessment to the mix–you are a true teacher at heart!
Best to you and thanks for reading!!
I know that we make goals for each year and then we look at them throughout the year, but I try to keep an extra copy in with our Christmas decorations, so that when the Christmas stuff comes out so does our New Year’s goals. We can then look and see how we did with our goals. Just thought the extra copy might help with the frustration!!;)
Robin! SO smart–an extra copy never hurts–I should totally copy our New Year’s Interviews…
Thanks for the idea!! Happy New Year to you!
Nice idea for building family memories! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much, Colleen! Happy 2011 to you!
Thank you so much for introducing me to this idea… And I am so proud to say, I actually did this last year too and knew where I put my interviews! And for me, that is quite an acocomplishment in organization 🙂 My daughters couldn’t wait to do this again- they’d been talking about it for weeks leading up til New Year’s. Thanks for all- I’m a frequent reader and your ideas make it onto my professional blog often- http://www.staceyloscalzo.com-but am just coming out of lurker mode!
Stacey! Hooray for you–and I thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to write! I cannot wait to check out your blog, and I am SO, so grateful that you have emerged from ‘lurker’ mode–I am queen blog lurker, so 2011’s my year to start commenting, too!
Kate Coveny Hood
I LOVE this idea. It would be hard to do with Oliver (still)…but I could probably keep it simple for a 2010 interview since they’re all 4-5 years old.
Much love to you and your family in 2011!!
(So when are we meeting up for dinner? I think it’s time to plan that…)
Kate, huge thanks! As soon as our family kicks this bug, you and I are putting something on the calendar–for sure!
Hugs and happy 2011, friend!
I shared this on Facebook!
thank you so much, Leigh Ann!! Happy holidays to you!!
Thank you for the printable!!! I will link your blog up with mine when I post about our new years plans!
Yay! Glad you like it–can’t wait to hear how it goes for you and your family!! Happy 2012 to you!!
I LOVE this idea!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
thanks a ton, Chris!! Happy, happy 2012 to you!!
I LOVE this idea! The article says there’s a PDF of the questions, but I can’t find the link… can you post it again? Thanks!
thank you, thank you, Megan! Not sure how you found that post, but I do need to update it. Here’s the most recent New Year’s Post, and I believe the link is right there: http://teachmama.com/new-years-interview-fun-family-tradition/
Many thanks, friend!