I love New Year’s Eve! It’s a unique moment in time when you get to look back on the previous year while also looking forward to the new year ahead. There’s an air of excitement and wonder and hope. And honestly, it’s a great reason to throw a party!
But the one part that sucks is having to stay up until midnight. Being 100% honest, I can’t do that.
Now I’ve got 2 kids under 2 years old and I’m exhausted. Zoé isn’t the best sleeper and at 7 months still wakes up anywhere from 2 to 4 times a night. And the girls are so young. They need a good nights rest or they are miserable. With all of us needing a good night’s sleep, staying up super late is not really an option for any of us.
So I have a dilemma. I want to celebrate the New Year but I also want to sleep.
We decided to celebrate this year with a Noon Year’s Eve Party. We invited our families over, served a delicious brunch and then we counted down the New Year at 12 noon. It was a great idea that let us have the best of both worlds, a party and a chance to head to bed at a decent hour.
French Toast Dippers (baked in the oven) and Maple Syrup
Berry Fruit Salad
Scrambled and Hard Boiled Eggs
Blueberry Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
Orange Juice, Tea and Coffee
Now, I’m gonna be honest, we did most of the cooking the day before.
The bacon we baked in the oven ahead of time and warmed up in the warming tray of the oven. And just saying, if you aren’t cooking your bacon in the oven, you should be. Put it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a 350*F oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it. Pull it out and you’re done. Clean up is minimal and there is not spitting bacon grease flying at you. And you can do a lot in a short amount of time. We did 3lbs of bacon in about 20 minutes (we had 17 people coming for brunch so we needed all the bacon we could get.)
I also baked the french toast sticks the day before too. I cut up some white bread into strips and dipped them in some whisked eggs with a splash of milk and vanilla. Put them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake them until crisp. I undercooked them a little since I was making them ahead of time. I just popped them in the oven to warm up just before the guests arrived and they were ready in a few short minutes.
And my beautiful blueberry bunt cake…French Vanilla cake mix with about a cup of fresh blueberries and the zest of one lemon added to it. My glaze was super easy too. Just the juice of a lemon with 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and enough icing sugar to make it white and thick, but still drippy, about 1 1/2 cups.
The morning of all we made was the eggs (boiled and scrambled, which are both super easy), the hash brown patties (store-bought and baked) and the fruits salad since that’s always best when it’s fresh. The simple and delicious salad was made of roughly equal parts chopped watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Doing so much ahead of time and in the oven made hosting a brunch for 17 a lot easier.
New Year’s Eve is this unique moment when you get to look back and to look ahead. You get to reminisce about the past year and remember all the highlights. At the same time, you get to look ahead to the next year, and all the hope and excitement of what might. I have 2 mini-Christmas trees on either end of my buffet throughout the holidays. They served double duty this season, acting as our memory trees for our Noon Year’s Eve Party. Guests were asked to write a favourite memory from 2017 on a tag and hang them on one tree. On the other tree, they hung up their hopes and dreams for 2018. It was fun and a great way to celebrate the excitement of the New Year!
As a mom of 2 under 2, the reason we had a Noon Year’s Eve Party was that I really don’t want to stay up late. Like I said earlier, Zoé isn’t as good a sleeper as Alexie and is still waking several times a night. So staying up until midnight just isn’t an option. This mama needs her sleep, every second I can get.
But with a Noon Year’s Eve party, we get to countdown at, well, noon. Just before noon we all gathered around, grabbed our Christmas Crackers (which I got clearance after Christmas) and began counting down. The clock struck 12 noon, we shouted “Happy New Year!”, popped our crackers and celebrated with a kiss. It was a Countdown, like any other, except we all got to go to bed at a normal time later that night.
After the countdown, we spent time just chatting and hanging out with our families while our kids ran around playing for a few hours. It was honestly one of my favourite New Year’s parties. And when the kids got tired, everyone headed home for their afternoon nap. Actually, Alexie was so tired, she put herself to bed just as everyone was getting ready to leave. She climbed into her bed, kicked everyone out of her room where they were playing and took a 3-hour nap. I think it’s safe to say that she has a super fun morning of partying, family and food.
Later that night, I put the kids to bed like normal, hubby and I watched a show together and I was in bed by 10 pm. Mom win! It really was the a great way to ring in the New Year.