In my past New Years Eve was a time for getting dressed up and having a night out, but for nearly a decade my New Years Eve celebrations have been focused around my growing family.

There doesn’t tend to be that much in way of New Year Celebrations that are family friendly in the town of Aberystwyth where I live, indeed many restaurants close from Christmas Eve until well into the New Year and one year my husband and I took the children out to a local pub for a bite to eat, it was early evening but before we could place the food order we were told we had to vacate the premises before 9pm.  It would be lovely if a firework display or something family friendly was hosted in our town, but in the current absence of anything externally organized my family and I have been developing our very own New Year traditions.

Instead of heading out on New Years Eve to celebrate we spend time as a family cooking a good luck dinner and introduce customs from around the world into our evening which my children all really enjoy. Our 2019 New Years Eve meal consisted of a vegetarian lentil Bolognese. Lentils have long been associated with good luck and prosperity for the New Year. They are thought to resemble coins and as a result lentils are eaten throughout Italy on New Year’s Day to bring good fortune in the year ahead.

A glass of home pomegranate fizz for the children means they can toast to the New Year before their bedtimes. Once the children are all tucked up my husband and I do try to stay awake long enough to make our new year resolutions and toast the New Year in, but with four young children in the house, staying awake can pose us problems these days.

We get a little extra mileage out of our Christmas tree by getting the children to decorate it with their wishes for the year ahead and this year this has involved glass painting some baubles and writing out some luggage tags with wishes. It’s a really nice thing to do as it encourages the children to lend themselves to positive thinking and it is also lovely to read over their wishes from previous years.

This year I have helped my two eldest children make fairy wish wands which they have really enjoyed and as a family we always start a new wishes jar on New Years Eve and then put in wishes throughout the year.

2019 is set to be a busy year for my family and I as I have just signed a contract for my new book on the dark history of tea and I have plenty of travel and business trips planned. As we pull our home made New Year Crackers this year and my children whisper their hopes for the New Year my ultimate wish for this year will be that we all thrive in 2019 not merely survive. Life will no doubt present challenges and will have twists and turns, but I’ll be prepared to hang on and am looking forward to a positive year ahead.

I’ll leave you now with best wishes for a prosperous 2019 and if you fancy indulging in some good luck traditions for the New Year have a little read of my article on New Year Traditions

Happy New Year